Informa forecasts an over 70% decline in annual profit due to COVID-19 restrictions

Informa forecasts an over 70% decline in annual profit due to COVID-19 restrictions
Written by:
Wajeeh Khan
January 6, 2021
  • Informa forecasts an over 70% decline in annual profit due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The British multinational exhibitions group expects physical events to resume in 2021.
  • Informa named John Rishton as the new chairman on Tuesday to replace Derek Mapp.

Informa plc (LON: INF) said on Wednesday that its annual profit is expected to see an over 70% decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis that weighed on the industry at large. The company said that the ongoing pandemic pushed it into postponing or cancelling hundreds of global events last year, including China Beauty Expo, World of Concrete, Monaco Yacht Show, and Arab Health.

In a report published in September, the London-based company had posted £801.2 million of pre-tax loss in the fiscal first half due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected a little under 87 million people worldwide and caused over 1.8 million deaths.

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Informa shares jumped more than 2% in premarket trading on Wednesday. At 548 pence per share, the stock has recovered sharply from a low of 355 pence per share in late September.

Informa expects physical events to resume in 2021

After June 2020, China eased COVID-19 restrictions and resumed several of the postponed events. Other prominent markets like Europe and the United States, however, refrained from following the largest Asian economy in its footsteps. The United Kingdom also announced another countrywide lockdown to combat the rising cases of the novel flu-like virus earlier this week.

Informa said that it resumed its first physical events in Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Egypt in the last quarter of 2020. Outside Mainland China, 90% of physical events, the events group added, are now scheduled to resume from June. Informa said:

“2021 is likely to be a year of return for physical events, rather than full rebound and recovery.”

In a bid to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Informa resorted to closing offices, laying off workers, cancelling dividends, restructuring debt, and raising £1 billion in equity last year.

Informa named John Rishton as the new chairman

For the year that concluded on 31st December, the British multinational now forecasts £250 million to £270 million of operating profit on an adjusted basis. In comparison, it had recorded £933.1 million of profit in 2019.

On Tuesday, Informa named John Rishton as the new chairman of the company to replace Derek Mapp.

Informa performed largely downbeat in the stock market last year with an annual decline of roughly 35%. At the time of writing, the publishing, business intelligence, and exhibitions group has a market capitalisation of £8.20 billion.