Russian-focussed exhibitions play ITE (ITE) rises 4.4% in early trade to 308p as the market is inspired by the better-than-expected numbers and bullish outlook statement contained within this morning’s finals.
Adjusted pre-tax profits (PBT) of £59.4 million was 2.4% ahead of Numis’ predicted £58 million and news of 7% like-for-like revenue growth in the new financial year to the end of November prompts the broker to increase 2014 numbers too.
Since ITE gets paid mainly in euros, Numis is cautious on 2014’s upgrades, nudging its PBT forecast up 1.6% to £60 million. The FTSE 250 company’s growth potential, however, is underlined by a new £68.5 million predicted PBT number for 2015, representing stellar growth of 14.2%.
The firm has announced a further two deals since the 30 September year end. These are the purchase of a Turkish exhibitions group, Platform Exhibitions (15 Oct) and the establishment of a presence in China with a 50:50 joint venture, to be called Sinostar ITE with Hong Kong based Worldcoat Exhibitions.
These deals are in line with chief executive officer Russell Taylor’s drive to deploy excess cash reserves and diversify away from Russia where the group still generates the bulk of its sales and profits. Prior to these deals the company finished last year with a £23.5 million net cash position, versus £13 million in 2012.
In addition to ramping up the acquisitions drive, ITE is enhancing payouts to shareholders, declaring total dividends of 7p for 2013 versus 6.5p in 2012. Our previous story on ITE can be found here.