Expomedia growing despite MTK set back

Expomedia Group has reported strong turnover growth for the first six months of the year, despite the tragedy in Poland when the roof of the Katowice International Trade Hall collapsed on 28 January, killing 66 people.

The London-based venue operator and media company owned a 51% share in the Polish venue's owner MTK, but only acquired it a year after Katowice was built.

In the first six months to 30 June 2006 Expomedia reported growth of 43% to EUR14.4m (£9.7m) on activities, including share of joint ventures, compared with EUR10.1m (£6.8m) in the same period in 2005.

Due to the MTK tragedy, Expomedia has admitted having to realign to "focus resources on fewer higher yielding markets and also to release equity that is currently in real estate assets".

It disposed of its shareholding in Expocentres Eastern Europe, the company that held the shares in MTK, on 31 May and an Expomedia Group managing director was detained for three months in Poland after the collapse during the 56th National Exhibition of Carrier Pigeons (Event, May).

Expomedia Group has now refocused and is developing exhibitions, venues and conferences in core territories.

Expomedia chief executive Mark Shashoua said: "This interim period has been extremely challenging. Despite the exceptional loss and disruption caused by events outside our control, the group's core businesses continue to grow."

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