The NEC Group, which operates The NEC, The ICC, the LG Arena, The National Indoor Arena and two catering businesses, made an operating profit of £29.4m in the year ending 31 March 2011. This was £5.3m (22%) up on 2009/10.
The Group's defecit is down to £7.7m from £12.3m in 2009/10 (year ending 31 March 2010), despite rising venue operating costs.
Group Convention Centres (which includes the trading results of The ICC and fees earned from the contract to manage The Convention Centre, Dublin) reported a 25% increase in operating profit to £4.5m, reflecting a partial recovery in conference activity on 2009/10.
The Group’s exhibition business delivered a profit of £37.6m, up 27.0% (£8m) on the previous year, helped by an increase in large trade exhibitions held at The NEC, following difficult trading in 2009/10.
The Arenas and Ticket Factory business delivered a record operating profit of £5.2m, up 36.8% (£1.4m), with the latter reporting an 81% rise in profit to £2.35m.
The NEC Group’s chief operating officer John Hornby said: "These results represent a strong recovery from the very difficult trading conditions we had to deal with last financial year. The exhibitions and conferencing businesses have performed well, delivering slow but sure recovery from their results in 2009/10, and we are delighted with the growth levels reported in our arenas and ticketing business."
He added that 2011/12 will be a less profitable year for the exhibition business because of the normal exhibition cycle, and difficult markets.