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UPDATE 1-Exhibitions organiser ITE sees pretax profit ahead of consensus
October 1, 2014 / 7:53 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Exhibitions organiser ITE sees pretax profit ahead of consensus

(Adds details, analyst comments; updates share movement)

Oct 1(Reuters) - Exhibitions organiser ITE Group Plc said it expected full-year pretax profit to beat market consensus, helped by costs cuts and strong fourth-quarter trading.

Shares in the company rose as much as 6 percent in early trade on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The company, which organises over 230 exhibitions and conferences each year, said it had booked revenue of about 60 million pounds ($97.18 million) as on Sept. 26, for financial year 2015.

A strong showing at the World Food Moscow exhibition, ITE’s largest ever event, and additional sales to Egypt and Turkey also helped, the company said.

“Of key Q4 shows World Food Moscow was of particular note where space sales grew an encouraging 4 percent and visitor numbers were up a strong 12 percent,” analysts at Numis Securities said in a note.

The brokerage has a “buy” rating on the stock with a target price of 335 pence.

ITE ran 38 events in the fourth quarter, generating revenue of about 29 million pounds, up 7.4 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts on average expect full-year pretax profit at 56.40 million pounds, on revenue of 174.68 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

ITE, however, warned that full-year revenue would dip nearly 10 percent to 174 million pounds, hurt by a strong pound in the fourth quarter.

The London-based company, which gets about 70 percent revenue in roubles and euros, said it continues to experience currency headwinds from both its major trading currencies, which is expected to impact earnings in 2015.

While like-for-like revenue rose 6 percent on constant currency, it fell 7 percent in actual currency terms during the fourth quarter.

Bookings to date, while still in line with management expectations, are lower from last year, due to the weak economic environment and the political crisis in Ukraine, ITE said.

ITE shares were up 4.4 percent at 177 pence at 0746 GMT.

1 US dollar = 0.6174 British pound Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by Sunil Nair

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