Informa has become an 800-pound gorilla in the business information space, thanks in large part to a two step-strategic plan. Part one was Growth & Acceleration, in effect from 2014 to 2017, that saw the expansion of Informa through both organic growth and acquisition, including the $1.56 billion purchase of Penton in the U.S. and nearly $6 billion acquisition of UBM in June 2018. Overall reported revenue for 2018 jumped 34.9 percent to about $3 billion, with acquisitions and disposals contributing 35.4% growth (primarily due to the acquisition of UBM).
In June 2018, Informa shifted to its Accelerated Integrated Plan, a one-year program which focuses on integration of its new assets and the creation of a new operating structure, which include the reorganization and renaming of some of its divisions. In its just released 2018 Annual Report, Informa offers a look at the new operating structure and projected revenue ratios for 2019.
The new groups include:
Informa Markets: Combines Informa’s Global Exhibitions Group with UBM’s exhibitions business. In 2018, Global Exhibitions accounted for 24 percent of Informa’s overall revenue while UBM drove 26 percent (Informa's existing exhibitions generated about $746.6 million while UBM did $794.8 million). In 2019, the combined units will account for about 50 percent of total revenue with target growth of 4.5 percent.
Taylor & Francis: Informa’s Academic Publishing Division, which has long gone to market under the name Taylor & Francis (the division is currently undergoing a separate brand review to adapt to what is a distinctive market from Informa’s other holdings). In 2018 Academic Publishing generated close to $700 million in revenue and nearly $250 million in profit, accounting for 23 percent of overall revenue; in 2019, the group will account for about 19 percent of total revenue with target growth of 2 percent.
Informa Connect: Formerly known as Knowledge & Networking, this group creates content-driven events, training and e-learning platforms. In 2018, this group accounted about $338 million and 11 percent of revenue; in 2019 it will drive 10 percent of total revenue with target growth of 2.5 percent.
Informa Intelligence: Formerly Business Intelligence, this group provides specialist data-driven insight and intelligence which includes research, subscription services and media properties. The group will account for about 13 percent of overall revenue in 2019 with 3 percent underlying growth, compared to 16 percent of overall revenue in 2018.
Informa Intelligence has been a turnaround story. “In Business Intelligence, we reorganised and restructured the business to be closer to its customer markets and focused on subscriptions, introducing fresh leadership and investing significantly in products and platforms,” Informa states in the report. “This delivered a turnaround from negative growth as low as -8.5% back to consistent positive underlying growth…Having returned to growth for the first time in six years in 2016 and made a further step forward in performance in 2017, the business improved again in 2018, posting underlying revenue growth of 2.6% and total revenues of £385m [about $499 million].”
Informa Tech: This new group brings together all Informa’s exhibitions, events, information, data, media and marketing services brands serving Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) under one structure and leadership. This group accounts for about 8 percent of overall revenue with 2 percent of underlying growth for 2019 but Informa expects that as this group matures, it will double that growth rate in four years.
“In 2019, our focus is on continuing Performance and Growth as we consolidate our market positions and further reduce complexity,” said CEO Stephen Carter. “This will enable us to make the most of our increased operating scale and industry specialisation, creating attractive opportunities for incremental growth and returns.”
Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.