Tarsus Grp PLC - Final Results

Strong performance in first year of QTP 2 Strategy

Tarsus Group plc (LSE: TRS, "Tarsus" or "the Group"), the international business-to-business media group, announces its results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

The Group launched the second phase of its "Quickening the Pace" strategy in January 2018. This focuses on further building the scale and momentum of the Group, driving the organic growth of existing businesses, replicating Tarsus brands and acquiring new platforms for growth.

This new phase has begun well with the Group delivering like-for-like revenue growth of 9% over the year (at constant exchange rates) and an increase in buyers across the portfolio of 10% on a like-for-like basis.

Financial results

 

2018

2017

2016

Revenue (£m)

99.7

117.7

68.4

Like-for-like* revenue growth

9%

7%

 8%

Adjusted EBITDA* (£m)

33.0

44.9

22.0

Operating profit (£m)

24.9

33.6

14.7

Adjusted profit before tax* (£m)

27.9

40.2

19.2

Profit before tax (£m)

16.5

27.9

  8.6

Adjusted EPS* (pence)

17.5

27.7

15.2

Basic EPS (pence)

Dividend (pence)

9.4

11.0

21.5

10.0

  6.9

  9.1

Net debt (£m)

78.8

84.8

69.5

* See glossary at end of this announcement for definitions of terms

Financial highlights

· Revenue of £99.7m up 46% against 2016

· Group like-for-like revenues* up 9%

· Adjusted profit before tax of £27.9m up 45% against 2016 (statutory profit before tax £16.5m up 93%)

· Adjusted earnings per share of 17.5p up 15% against 2016 (statutory earnings per share 9.4p up 36%)

· Proposed final dividend of 7.7p per share - total for year up 10% to 11.0p

· £150m refinancing completed with new five year revolving credit facility of £120m and £30m by way of a seven year bond

· Net debt at £78.8m, with gearing back at target range

Operational highlights

· Buyer/visitor growth across the portfolio of 10%, at the top end of the Group's KPI target of 5-10%

· Strong performances from leading events

· 19 brand replications launched, including 6 new Connect events

· Outstanding first edition of Labelexpo South East Asia with a strong rebook for 2020

· The Group announced six acquisitions in the year with the largest being the acquisition of the remaining 50% its joint venture with EJ Krause in Mexico

Current trading and outlook

· Trading off to a good start in 2019

· Forward bookings for 2019 on a like-for-like basis currently up 10%

· Well positioned to deliver another strong performance in 2019

Douglas Emslie, Group Managing Director of Tarsus, commented:

"2018 saw the launch of the latest phase of our Quickening the Pace strategy and we are delivering

against that strategy with another good year of progress both operationally and strategically.

"Our buyer/visitor growth of 10% was especially pleasing and results from the Group's focus on deepening our presence in higher-growth markets, maximising the scale of our events and constantly seeking to deliver high-quality buyers.

"Trading has got off to a good start for the first two months of 2019. Bookings for our larger biennial events, including the Dubai Airshow and Labelexpo Europe, are promising. We are pleased with the strong recovery in bookings for our shows in Turkey and bookings across the portfolio are at the top end of the Group's target range demonstrating the importance of a diversified portfolio. In addition, our programme of brand replications is steadily augmenting our growth.

2019 - the larger of the years in our biennial cycle - is shaping up to be another successful one for the Group. Our confidence in the future is reflected in the Board's recommended 10% full year dividend increase."

Outlook

Trading has got off to a good start for the first two months of 2019. Bookings for our larger biennial events, including the Dubai Airshow and Labelexpo Europe, are promising. We are pleased with the strong recovery in bookings for our shows in Turkey and bookings across the portfolio are at the top end of the Group's target range demonstrating the importance of a diversified portfolio. In addition, our programme of brand replications is steadily augmenting our growth.

2019 is the larger of the years in our biennial cycle and is shaping up to be another very successful one for the Group. Our confidence in the future is reflected in the proposed 10% dividend increase for 2018.

Neville Buch, Chairman 

Douglas Emslie, Group Managing Director

26 February 2019