Pure organiser Hyve raises cash, reports lower sales
In an announcement released on Thursday, the company said the raising will be done through a rights issue, fully underwritten by corporate broker Numis, Barclays and HSBC.
It comes as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, which forced the group to postpone 48 events and cancel a further 13 since the start of the epidemic.
Revenue for the year to September is expected to take an £80 million hit, down 20% on last year.
The listed company is proposing the issue of nine new ordinary shares at 69p each for every 40 existing ordinary shares. This is a 68% discount to Wednesday’s closing price. It will also turn ten existing ordinary shares in one consolidated share, conditional to the issue. After the announcement, shares in the company fell by 5.6% on Thursday morning.
Investors were reacting to the news of the rights issue, as well as the release of the company’s interim results for the six months to 31 March.
During the first half of the year, revenue fell from £107.8 million in 2019 to £96.3 million, hurt by international government restrictions to control the coronavirus. On a like-for-like basis, revenue was up 1%. Hyve also reported a statutory loss before tax of £168.3 million, compared to profit of £1.9 million a year earlier.
And the £110.1 million acquisition of US-based events Shoptalk and Groceryshop in December sent adjusted net debt up from £108.9 million to £157.2 million.
Despite everything, CEO Mark Shashoua remained confident in the group’s ability to bounce back once the lockdown is lifted. He said: “Market-leading events act as a key trading platform for many industries and will play a vital role in reigniting economies, and we are working closely with customers, government and industry bodies to make this happen.
“We have also accelerated our focus on building our omni-channel capabilities driven by the Shoptalk and Groceryshop acquisition. Digital will not replace face-to-face events, but it complements them with online activity that supports our customers year-round and maximises the profile of our brands.
“Whilst the immediate impact of temporary government restrictions has been severe, we believe these are short-term challenges. Our strategy of building a portfolio of market-leading events and the investment made over the last three years puts us in a strong position when we exit this crisis.”
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