Association business is 'bedrock' for ACC Liverpool

The ACC Liverpool has achieved an increase in profits, largely due to association conferences.

Richard Branson at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress at the ACC Liverpool. Credit Ant Clausen
Richard Branson at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress at the ACC Liverpool. Credit Ant Clausen
The venue, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, recorded a post-tax profit of £271,000 - an increase of more than £17,000 over the previous period to March 2011.

The increase, for figures based on audited accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012, was achieved in the context of an 11 per cent decrease in turnover to £12.9 million.

The ACC Liverpool expects revenue to return to previous levels of more than £14m in 2013, as seen in 2010-11.

The centre has already confirmed 21 repeat events for 2013 including the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Chief executive Bob Prattey said to experience an increase in profit despite a reduction in revenue was due to the venue’s focus on streamlining costs in a tough market while maintaining high levels of customer service.

He said: "2011-12 was another year of positive development for ACC Liverpool in the face of challenges presented by the poor economic climate.

"Our latest financial figures reflect the cyclical nature of the events and conference business. The association conference market continues to act as the bedrock upon which BT Convention Centre’s business is based and, whilst we have made a significant impact in the corporate market, this sector continues to be affected by the global recession.

"Despite this, we were able to achieve a positive outcome by managing event costs and overheads while maintaining the highest levels of customer service delivery."

In 2011-12, ACC Liverpool held a total of 182 events and welcomed 585,000 visitors, including the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

Prattey continued: "As we head into our sixth year, we expect to return to the level of turnover experienced previously. We have now generated a total of £610 million in economic benefit to the city since opening in 2008, which will continue to rise as we have many terrific events across the venue confirmed for next year.

Plans for 2013 also include the start on site next autumn for the venue’s new exhibition facility – Exhibition Centre Liverpool – which is expected to contribute an estimated £40 million per year to the city region after it opens in 2015.  

It will be used to stage both trade and consumer exhibitions, as well as large national and international conferences with attached exhibitions, large scale banquets and concerts with a standing capacity of 10,000.

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