Grass Roots HBI managing director Des McLaughlin told C&IT that 2012 was "not the kindest of years" for the industry as a whole, despite recording "satisfactory" figures for his division.
He added: "The year started well, with the appetite shown in 2012 for meetings initially continuing, but this changed and the closer we came to The Olympics the quieter the market became until it literally ground to a halt in the 3rd Quarter."
McLaughlin criticised London Mayor Boris Johnson for "scaremongering" about travel in London during The Olympics. "Boris turned London and the South East into a ghost town over the summer which I enjoyed as a resident, but it was not great for our already fragile economy," he added.
McLaughlin said that UK financial performance for Grass Roots HBI was slightly lower than anticipated, but it was business as usual for Grass Roots HBI's offices in New York and Singapore.
"2013 represents a fantastic opportunity for businesses such as ourselves to partner with clients and to really add value to our offering. We have come a long way from our early days of purely acting as a venue sourcing specialist and now provide meetings solutions through a growing number of affiliated services," he added.
McLaughlin continued: "Despite the talk of triple dip recession, the 'fiscal cliff' and a European meltdown I go into 2013 with high hopes. This is not because I'm expecting a bumper year for meetings, although the market for most countries remains healthy. No, my optimism is based on the opportunities that exist in extending our services further to clients and providing them with proactive solutions, be this further overseas offices, enhanced technology or a new service offering. In short I think we are currently living through a time of change and 2013 will be a great year for those who dare."
Grass Roots' separate divisions, including HBI, do not publish individual accounts.