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Motivcom, owners of Zibrant, P&MM and AYMTM, have reported an 18% fall in gross profit to £12.2m for its meetings and events division in 2013, citing continued budgetary pressures, reduced delegate numbers and a lack of new business.
The company also reported a 50% decrease in operating profit to £900,000 for the 12 months to December 2013.
Motivcom chairman, Colin Lloyd, said in a statement: "Whilst venue find volumes were 24% above budget, the event and live production areas continued to see budgetary pressures and reducing numbers of delegates, impacting volume, average spend per head and profitability. Expected new business intake towards the end of the year in this area was also lower than expected."
In 2013 Motivcom reorganised its core events business under one primary brand, Zibrant, and three core operating areas: meeting booking; meeting management and creative production; and communications. As part of this restructure, the P&MM events division merged with Zibrant Global Events to form Zibrant Live.
Lloyd continued: "Gross profit in 2014 is expected to be maintained at the 2013 level. Our cost reduction programme continued in 2013 and will continue into 2014 as we re-engineer and right-size the business.
"During this time we have also invested in the Events division, recruiting new creative talent into our live creative production area to strengthen our competitive offering and win new business. In the meetings booking area we are investing in new software to improve the product offering and reduce cost of delivery.
"The anticipated upturn in the events business has, to date, not materialised and the Board remains cautious about the Meeting & Events area of the business. However, there has been a gradual recovery in the meeting booking environment which we expect to continue into 2014 and beyond. This recovery coupled with the continued restructure of our event management services provides a platform for medium-term growth."