NEC Makes £36M

Birmingham-based NEC Group made an operating profit of £36.5 million in the year ending March 31.

After deducting interest payments on loans taken out to build venues, there was a surplus of £2.7 million, £1.7 million of which was used to repay part of the loans.

The Group’s exhibition business, based at the NEC site in Solihull, delivered a £40.3 million operating profit, up 6.6 percent on the previous year, although the improvement reflected the traditional four-year exhibition cycle.

On a like-for-like basis, operating profit for the exhibition business fell by about 3 percent, reflecting difficult trading conditions due to the general economic slowdown.

The arenas and The Ticket Factory delivered record turnover and operating profit on the back of the two venues pulling 1.5 million people. Turnover was £20.7 million, up 6.2 percent in the year, and operating profit was 16.7 percent up at £4.9 million.

Much of the growth was driven by The Ticket Factory, which is fast establishing itself as a national ticket agency.

The ICC, one of Europe’s leading conference and event venues, also delivered record turnover and operating profit. Turnover was up 2.4 percent at £21.5 million and operating profit was up 21.4 percent at £6.8 million.

The results reflected the strong year of activity at the ICC, but also the increasing level of profit from the NEC group’s management contract for The Convention Centre Dublin, which opens in September 2010.

In 2009, the NEC group hosted 725 events with a total of 4 million visitors.