Tarsus boosts interim dividend as confidence grows

Wednesday, Jul 27 2011 by
Tarsus boosts interim dividend as confidence grows

Business-to-business media and exhibitions group Tarsus (LON:TRS) was in bullish mood today, declaring a 5% increase in its interim dividend to 2.1p. Chief executive Douglas Emslie said the move was an important indicator of the group’s confidence about its businesses in the near term. Yesterday, shares in Tarsus leapt by 14.5p to 165p ahead of the interim figures. While profit taking among investors tugged the price back down during trading today, at 158p the stock remains close to the previous 12 month high of 160p that it touched in May.

In the numbers, Tarsus reported a 14% year-on-year rise in revenues to £19.2 million, with like-for-like revenues up 7%. Adjusted pre-tax profits nearly halved to £0.6 million as a result of higher interest charges on debt prior to a £16.0 million share placing in May. Profits were also dented by higher overhead costs on a strong programme of events scheduled for the second half of 2011 together with costs connected to its acquisition of Turkish events company IFO in June.

Mr Emslie said that Tarsus’ events businesses in the US, Middle East and China had all performed strongly and that the US division in particular had been growing for 18 months. He said the group’s Off-Price Clothing and Medical exhibition businesses had also enjoyed strong performances. Elsewhere, its French business, which has taken the longest to shake off the effects of the economic downturn, remained subdued. A 12% contraction last year was followed by a 6% fall in revenues during the first half. Nevertheless, Mr Emslie said the division was moving in the right direction.

Tarsus’ performance tends to be weighted in the second half of its financial the year, when its flagship events take place. It confirmed that sales for its Labelexpo Europe and Dubai Airshow events, which are scheduled for later this year, were tracking ahead of the corresponding events in 2009. Speaking to Stockopedia in June, Mr Emslie discussed the implications of Tarsus’ recent move into Turkey and his plans to target future growth in emerging markets.

Commenting today, Mr Emslie said: “If we look at the second half of the year, excluding France, each of the other divisions are going to have record performances so we are feeling very confident. The forward bookings are tracking well and have given us the confidence to increase the…

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Tarsus Group plc is an integrated media group primarily engaged in exhibitions, along with associated conferences, publishing, education and Internet activities. The principal activity of the Company is the holding of investments. The Company operates through three segments: EMEA, Americas, and Asia. The main activities of all segments are the production of exhibitions supported by other media activities related to those exhibitions. Its key brands include the Dubai Airshow, Labelexpo, OFFPRICE, Zuchex, AAITF and Tarsus Medical. more »

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