FTSE 250 exhibitions organiser Hyve Group (LON:HYVE) has seen its share price drop by 9.74% to 19.36p (as of 14:35 BST) after revenues for the six months ended 31st March fell by 10.6%. The company booked a pre-tax loss of £168 million for the first half, largely due to non-cash impairments linked to the COVID crisis.
CEO Mark Shashoua commented: “We started this year in a very strong position. We reported strong like-for-like growth in Q1 and added two market-leading products, Shoptalk and Groceryshop to our portfolio.
When the pandemic began, we initiated Project Fortress – Hyve’s immediate response to COVID-19 – leaving no stone unturned. We responded rapidly and decisively by rescheduling events, reducing our costs, managing cash and supporting our customers and people through this crisis. In these unprecedented circumstances we have done everything we can and at pace to protect the business. Today we have strengthened our financial position through a £126.6m fully underwritten rights issue, to provide additional security through this crisis and to support the long-term success of the business.
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“.