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Greater range of events boosts NEC Group’s earnings

NEC Group, which operates five of the UK’s busiest live events venues and The Ticket Factory, has reported a 2.8 per cent boost in revenue.

The group, which also owns caterer Amadeus, notched revenue of £162.1m in the year to March 31, an increase of £4.4m year-on-year.

NEC’s earnings were up 10 per cent or £4.9m to £54.7m.

Earnings have continued to grow since the year-end with unaudited EBITDA over the 12 months to May 31 now standing at £60m, up £12m.

NEC Group said in a statement: “The earnings growth reflects the group’s strategy to broaden the range of events across the NEC campus and city centre venues following investment in facilities and increasing use of customer data analytics to maximise new event opportunities.”

Attendance at the group’s two arenas, Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham, grew by 17 per cent against the previous year to over 1.6 million.

Acts hosted at the venues included Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Mickey Flanagan and John Bishop, and the arenas also welcomed back Horse of the Year Show, Disney on Ice and Strictly Come Dancing.

NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi said: “This has been another exceptional year as we see further benefits of what is now a proven strategy. We continue to use our market-leading insight drawn from a wealth of customer data to work with promoters and organisers to grow their shows and launch new content.

“We have a clear plan to expand the leisure offer on our sites, building on the success of Resorts World Birmingham and our fantastic range of consumer exhibitions and arena shows. The opening of two new Merlin Entertainments’ attractions later this year will be important milestones in the delivery of that plan.

“Extensive capital investment into our venues – £48m over the last three financial years – has focused on projects that improve customer experience and deliver earnings growth. This programme will continue into the current financial year with major changes to the NEC site as we continue our roll-out of digital screens and deliver a major facelift to our original exhibition halls.

“We are now exceptionally well positioned for further growth and are targeting earnings growth of 10 per cent year-on-year over the medium term.”

Image: Bs0u10e01