Pure-play exhibitions

UBM is the largest listed “pure-play” exhibitions organiser in the world

Investment Case

UBM’s key strengths

Following the disposal of PR Newswire in June 2016, and the acquisition of Allworld exhibitions in December 2016, UBM is now focused on B2B events:

  • c84% of revenues from Events, principally tradeshows
  • c16% of revenues from Other Marketing Services, which are increasingly aligned with the event communities we serve

We think this focus is a key strength – management time and capital allocation is dedicated to enhancing our portfolio and pursuing excellence in Events.

The B2B global exhibitions industry is extremely attractive:

  • $24.3bn global industry*
  • forecast to grow at 4.6% CAGR to 2020*
  • high margin
  • cash generative - negative working capital profile
  • highly fragmented – the top 10 organisers have c19% of the market*

UBM has a strong position – we are the 2nd largest organiser in the world with c4% of the market

*Source: 2016 Globex Report - AMR International – Only $24.3bn of the market analysed – excludes further c$5bn in rest of world.


With offices in over 20 countries UBM offers attractive diverse geographic exposure (see graph) and is a leading organiser in many of the countries it operates in:

  • No. 1 in US
  • No. 1 in China*
  • No. 1 in India
  • No 1 in ASEAN
  • No. 3 in Mexico
  • No. 3 in Brazil

*International operator


UBM’s events serve a wealth of different industry sectors - in total over 50 different niche communities.

Our strategy is to focus on Major* events which are typically “must-attend” for their particular vertical/geography.

More than 80% of our events revenues are generated through our c120 Major events.

* Major events generate more than £1m of revenue each year.

  • Attractive margin – 2015 Continuing Adjusted operating margin: 25.6%
  • Earnings growth – 2015 Total EPS growth of 6.0%
  • Attractive cash generation – 2015 cash conversion rate: 107%
  • Low capex needs – 2016 guidance: c£15m
  • Progressive dividend policy targeting 2x cover through economic and biennial cycles

The exhibitions industry is highly fragmented which offers exciting opportunities for consolidation. Over the last three years UBM has spent nearly £1.2bn acquiring events businesses.

UBM is highly cash generative and typically enjoys c.100% cash conversion, providing good opportunity for reinvestment in the business.

Our target leverage is between 1.5x – 2x Net Debt to EBITDA and our financial policy allows the company to operate outside this range for a period of 12-18 months.

Strong leadership is key to our success. Our management structure encourages highly skilled local management teams to focus on the needs of the communities they serve whilst still being accountable to the broader business. Led by Tim Cobbold, with the support of an experienced Executive Committee, we try to strike a balance between local management and entrepreneurship with the benefits of scale.

  • Over 95 digital properties
  • 2015 Online revenues: £81.1m

We recognise the value of digital in providing community insight and for marketing purposes. There are strong expertise within the business and our strategy is to align our OMS activities more closely with our Events.

We have a well-deserved reputation as a leader in environmental and social responsibility within our sector. We feel this approach gives us a competitive advantage as well as saving costs and reducing our impact on the environment.

Read about our sustainability initiatives

'Events First'

Our ambition is to become the world’s leading B2B events company - to deliver good growth, an attractive margin and to create the best platform in the industry.


We believe UBM’s approach to governance underpins our ability to deliver our strategy and create long-term shareholder value.