Markets News

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Relx points to hefty annual losses for exhibitions business

(Corrects second paragraph to show that company did not call predicted divisional growth rates “minimal”)

Oct 22 (Reuters) - European information business Relx Plc said on Thursday annual revenue could fall as much as 210 million pounds ($276.09 million) short of costs in its exhibitions business, as it suffered from coronavirus-driven halts in major events this year.

FTSE 100-listed Relx, which lost 117 million pounds through the division in the first half, said it expected modest growth in two of its other main businesses and year to date had seen growth of around 3%, or roughly half previous years, in its risk and analytics unit.

Relx is the world’s second biggest exhibitions organiser and, like rival Informa, has been hammered this year by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel curbs and other restrictions.

The company forecast annual revenue from the unit, which made up 16% of the total last year, to be 330-360 million pounds this year, compared to 1.27 billion pounds in 2019, while total costs will be between 530 million pounds and 540 million pounds.

Relx said event activity had reopened in a limited number of countries.

“Exhibitions are now running in China, Japan and a few other countries. Although revenue from most events is lower than from prior editions, satisfaction measures for both exhibitors and visitors are generally higher,” Relx said.

The company, which has transitioned to a group focussed on data and analytics from being a traditional media publisher, hosts more than 500 exhibitions in about 30 countries, attracting over 7 million people each year.

$1 = 0.7606 pounds Reporting by Patrick Graham and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich