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Media groups start to benefit as social distance restrictions are eased

The latest results from Informa (INF) and Relx (REL) have pointed to an improving environment for the exhibitions segment of their businesses.

This marks a key change from the recent torrid trading environment. Covid travel-related restrictions, coupled with the need to socially distance, caused exhibitions to be cancelled or postponed during the height of the pandemic. However, the rapid rollout of vaccines has enabled face-to-face meetings to resume.

This has resulted in a pick-up in activity for Informa in its core markets of America, China and the United Arab Emirates. 

The number of combined events being held by Informa in these regions is forecast to increase from 20 in the second quarter to 50 in Q3 and 60 in Q4. According to Informa chief executive Stephen Carter the group’s exhibition business is anticipated to generate twice the revenue in the second half of the year than the first half.

The exhibitions business is a much leaner entity, following a series of cost cutting exercises. The experience of running virtual exhibitions during the pandemic has enabled the group to learn new skills and has created another revenue stream.

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