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Informa announces half-year results

Informa delivers further strong growth in revenues, profits and cashflows, with full year results expected to be at the top-end of guidance range.

Informa announces half-year results
Stephen A. Carter: “We are focused on building a better, broader and more scalable business, which is reflected in a very strong first half performance, putting us on track to meet or beat our guidance for 2023."

Informa, the international B2B events, specialist data, digital services and academic markets group has published half year results for 2023, delivering strong operating and financial performance and continued progress on its Growth Acceleration Plan 2 (“GAP 2”).

The publisher reported as follows:

Stephen A. Carter, group chief executive, Informa PLC, said: “We are focused on building a better, broader and more scalable business, which is reflected in a very strong first half performance, putting us on track to meet or beat our guidance for 2023, with further momentum visible into 2024 and 2025.”

He added: “As The Leading and Largest Owner/Operator of B2B Events, Specialist Data and Digital Services Internationally, we see continuing strong demand from B2B customers, giving us confidence in further growth.”

Accelerating growth in revenues, profits and cashflows

2023 Half Year Results reflect strong performances in all businesses

  • Strong Reported Growth in H1 2023: Further strong growth in Revenue (+53.0% to £1,520.5m), Adjusted Operating Profit (+102.9% to £413.5m) and Free Cash Flow (+62.8% to £224.6m);
  • Underlying Growth Acceleration: Underlying revenue growth of 31.9% and an increase in underlying adjusted operating profit of 56.5% in H1 2023, reflecting an improved performance in Academic Markets, strong growth in B2B Events and further progress in B2B Digital Services;
  • Increased Operating Margin: Significant increase in adjusted operating margin (+670bpts to 27.2%), ahead of full year guidance, driven by higher underlying revenues and strong operating leverage.
  • Significant increase in Earnings per Share: Adjusted diluted earnings per share +134.4% to 22.5p (H1 2022: 9.6p), reflecting strong growth in earnings and the benefit from recent share buybacks;
  • Improving Statutory Performance: H1 2023 statutory revenue of £1,520.5m (2022: £993.5m), statutory operating profit of £298.9m (H1 2022: £62.0m), and statutory diluted EPS of 17.9p (2022: 2.6p) all significantly higher year-on-year;
  • Higher Free Cash Flow: Growth in adjusted operating profit, high cash conversion and strong forward bookings for events and subscriptions delivers Free Cash Flow of £224.6m in H1 2023, +62.8% year-on-year;
  • Disciplined Capital Allocation: Additional long-term growth opportunities captured through acquisitions of Tarsus and Winsight in the first half (combined post-synergy multiple sub-9x EV/EBITDA), further enhanced by today’s addition of Canalys within our specialist Tech research business, Omdia, and the announcement of exclusivity to acquire the HIMSS Global Health Exhibition/Conference, a TSNN Top 30 US trade show serving the Healthcare Technology market (combined post-synergy multiple also sub-9x EV/EBITDA);
  • Full Year Results at Top-End of Range: Strong H1 trading and forward bookings puts us on track for the top-end of guidance on both Revenue (£2.95bn to £3.05bn) and Adjusted Operating Profit (£750m to £790m), implying 30%+ growth in revenue and 50%+ growth in adjusted operating profit;

Continuing Strategic Progress

GAP 2 delivering accelerated revenue growth and digital expansion

  • Strong growth at Informa Markets: Strong underlying growth (+63.8%), reflecting full return of Live & On-Demand B2B Event brands in all regions and markets, accelerated expansion through Tahaluf partnership in the Middle East, and enhanced customer value via smart technology and data;
  • Accelerating growth at Informa Connect: Continuing double-digit underlying expansion (+18.5%), reflecting strong demand for content-rich live experiences providing high value networking, specialist content and accredited training. Expected revenue of $600m+ in 2023, with major strength in Finance, Life Sciences and Foodservice, the latter boosted by recently acquired Winsight;
  • Diversified growth at Informa Tech: Leading digital Tech business delivering robust underlying growth (+7.4%) in the face of broader Tech market volatility, reflecting specialist brands, high value Live Events, expansion in Specialist Media/Audience Development and leading position in Specialist Research through Omdia, further strengthened by today’s addition of Canalys;
  • B2B data growth through IIRIS: Continuing momentum in first party data, with IIRIS fully consented audience of 20m+, delivering market intelligence, customer knowledge and marketing effectiveness;
  • On-target growth and leadership update at Taylor & Francis: Improving underlying revenues (+3.3%) reflects strong performance in traditional Pay-to-Read products and continuing expansion in Pay-to- Publish services; With its GAP 2 plan on track, CEO of Taylor & Francis, Annie Callanan, to step down after six years in the role, with process to identify next leader underway;
  • Growing use of Artificial Intelligence: AI technology deployed across the Group in areas such as content indexing and classification, video to text transcription and B2B recommendation and matchmaking. Group-wide GAP 2 investment programme to further expand opportunity, including in content validation, marketing segmentation and buyer sentiment analysis.

Capital Allocation Discipline

Accelerating shareholder returns and accretive capital reinvestment

  • Accelerating shareholder returns: Strong earnings growth and cash conversion delivering accelerating returns for shareholders, with £650m+ total cash returns expected in 2023 through a combination of growing ordinary dividends and completion of £1bn share buyback programme;
  • 90%+ dividend growth: Strong dividend growth (+93.3% to 5.8p in H1), with an ongoing commitment to a 40% minimum payout of adjusted earnings;
  • £1bn Share Buyback Programme: Strong cash flow generation and robust balance sheet supporting an ongoing share buyback programme, with over £800m of £1bn programme completed;
  • Targeted additions delivering further Market Specialisation: Following the divestment of Informa Intelligence for c.£2.5bn (average multiple c.28x EV/EBITDA), we are redeploying capital into accretive acquisitions, further strengthening our positions in specialist markets, including in Foodservice (Winsight), Specialist Tech Research (Canalys) and Packaging/Aviation/Healthcare/Beauty & Aesthetics (Tarsus) and in Healthcare Technology (where we have announced exclusivity to acquire the HIMSS Global Health Exhibition/Conference);
  • Balance sheet strength: Year-end leverage currently tracking to c.1.3x, providing continuing flexibility for further organic and inorganic investment, and ongoing shareholder returns;

In this report, we refer to non-statutory measures, as defined in the Glossary on page 74. All numbers refer to Continuing Operations unless stated.

Click here to read the full report.

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