UBM reports first half revenue growth of 18%

UBM’s “Events First” strategy is paying off for the company, with first-half 2017 performance strong and the second half likely to be even stronger, CEO Tim Cobbold told Folio: on Friday.

Overall revenue for the company grew by 18 percent, to $591.2 million, while operating profit increased by nearly 20 percent to $147.3 million for the first half.

Underlying this growth was the performance of Allworld Exhibitions, a producer of 51 events in Asia that UBM acquired in December 2016.

Without factoring in the topline impact of Allworld, UBM grew revenue by 2.7 percent—still doubling its rate of growth from the first half of 2016, which was 1.3 percent.

The content-marketing part of UBM’s business is a critical part of its strategy, Cobbold said, helping it pursue its “events first” approach while at the same time retaining the vitality of its events-based communities year round. “We look at them as ‘fully-featured events,’” Cobbold said. “I don’t think it’s enough to think of events as a one-off or once-per-year interaction with a community. The role of media is as a conduit to keep relevant in that community. Digital has a big part to play in helping drive attendance to a show.”

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