Global Experience Specialists went from red to black in 2012, parent company Viad announced in its annual earnings report.
GES—the U.S. segment of Viad’s marketing and events group—increased revenues 7.2 percent year-over-year to $677 million, while operating income totaled $5.6 million, up from a loss of $6.3 million in 2011. Same-show revenue increased 6.5 percent to $281 million over that time, as well.
“2012 was a very positive year for GES,” says Paul Dykstra, Viad chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. “We achieved significant cost savings and efficiencies. Since 2008 we have reduced our U.S. facility footprint by approximately 1.2 million square feet and have realized annualized cost savings in excess of $6 million. Add to that our initiative to more efficiently manage labor utilization throughout the year, and GES' operating margin for 2012 increased to 2 percent for the year from 0.6 percent in 2011.”
“While we will not benefit in 2013 from non-annual shows as we did in 2012,” he adds, “we are targeting a full-year operating margin of 2.5 percent for GES in 2013.”
Viad’s international marketing and events segment, though smaller, also posted strong gains. The earnings report cited the 2012 London Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games as drivers behind the growth.
Revenue for the business rose 9.8 percent to $240 million, with an operating income of $12 million.
“Internationally we continue to make progress in building out the necessary infrastructure to support a growing business,” Dykstra says, noting several international deals Viad signed over the past 12 months. “We expect that our international business will continue to grow in the coming years.”
Combined, Viad’s two marketing and events segments increased revenues 7.3 percent up to $902 million in 2012.
Viad grossed revenues of $1 billion for the year, with operating income of $5.3 million, as a whole. While revenues jumped more than $80 million from 2011, income was down from $8.8 million. The company cited unfavorable tax matters and restructuring charges as primary reasons for the decline.