Pure and Moda owner Hyve ticks over in Q1, helped by digital events and insurance payouts
Pure London organiser Hyve Group has described near-term operating conditions for physical events as “fluid”, with Covid-19-related disruption continuing to hit its schedule. That was the unsurprising main message in its Q1 trading update (from October-to-date), released on Thursday.
But the UK-based company also said it was “encouraged” that the vaccination rollout would see a “gradual return of customer participation, particularly in western countries”.
Not all gloom then. And Hyve managed to run eight "in-person" events in Russia, Ukraine, China and, for the first time, in Turkey, taking its tally since the onset of the pandemic to 20. Q1 is usually Hyve’s smallest and quietest quarter by revenue so the impact of pandemic-linked issues would have been smaller during the quarter.
Although western Europe remains a firmly closed platform for its in-person events business, it noted that there's "strong demand as a recovery continues into FY22".
For the time being, demand for remote events are a plus as the business adopted and rolled out a more digital events. That was boosted by the acquisition of Retail Meetup in December which has “encouraging forward bookings for the upcoming events in March and May 2021”.
“Our strategy and focus on building an omnichannel business positions Hyve well for a post Covid-19 environment as markets reopen”, it said.
Another plus was news the group maintains a strong liquidity position, supported by insurance claims against cancelled events. In FY20, the group successfully secured a further £22 million of related income so far, from a pot capped at £62 million. It noted insurance cover is in place for the cancellation of FY21 events, with potential claims capped at £50 million.
CEO Mark Shashoua said: "Hyve enters 2021 with a strong platform to weather the Covid-19 crisis due to the decisive action taken in 2020 to strengthen our financial position, conserve cash, secure substantial insurance payments and, most recently, by accelerating our omnichannel strategy having completed the acquisition of Retail Meetup".
He added: “As in-person events continue to return, Hyve's market-leading events are optimally placed to service the pent-up demand for learning, networking and trading whilst stimulating the global economy. Retail Meetup combined with our strong financial platform and market-leading in-person events provides us with a springboard to emerge successfully from the pandemic”.
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