In its results for the six months to March 31, the exhibition and conferences group reported a pre-tax profit of GBP18.7mln, swinging from a GBP168.7mln loss a year ago, while revenues tumbled to GBP10.4mln from GBP90.6mln.
The company highlighted that the profit figure included GBP49mln of insurance proceeds in respect of cancelled events, while Hyve also said its adjusted net debt had fallen to GBP92.4mln from GBP157.2mln following cost control and a rights issue in May which raised GBP126.6mln.
Looking ahead, the group said it while its near-term outlook remains fluid, it is “cautiously optimistic” as it continued to see “strong pent-up demand” for its events through “continued strong rollover of customer deposits and sales”.
Hyve also said it expects “a gradual return of customer participation as international travel resumes and restrictions are lifted”.
“Hyve is focused on emerging from the pandemic a stronger business, with a robust financial platform and strategy in place to meet pent-up event demand, while accelerating our omnichannel offering. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have secured insurance proceeds totalling GBP84.9mln, achieved cost savings above our projections and ensured we have sufficient liquidity to make the most of the opportunity in front of us as markets begin to reopen”, Hyve chief executive Mark Shashoua said in a statement.
“COVID-19 has provided Hyve an opportunity to reset, renew and evolve. We are enhancing our already market leading in-person events by significantly building out our capability to deliver bespoke facilitated meetings programmes at a number of our events in FY22…Our recent acquisition of Retail Meetup is tracking ahead of expectations, demonstrating a successful monetisable model for future virtual Meetup events. With the speed of vaccine rollouts providing optimism and the strong liquidity headroom we have created, we enter the second half with the right talent, portfolio and omnichannel strategy to meet pent-up demand now and into FY22”, he added.
The company’s shares were up 0.4% at 117.5p in late morning trading on Tuesday.