3 Min Read
* Bookings for next 12 months up 22.2 pct
* Shares jump as much as 6 pct
* Adjusted first-quarter operating profit falls 16.9 pct
* Revenue falls 13.5 pct to 163 mln stg (Adds details, analyst comment, updates share movement)
By Noor Zainab Hussain
April 29 (Reuters) - Trade show organiser UBM Plc said bookings for exhibitions in the next 12 months were up 22.2 percent, sending its shares up as much as 6 percent.
The stock was one of the top percentage gainers on the London Stock Exchange's FTSE-250 Midcap Index.
UBM, which organises shows in the UK, the United States, China and Turkey among others, said bookings for its 2013 top 20 events rose to 136.7 million pounds.
"UBM's events business is heavily weighted towards these top shows, so this very big increase in forward bookings bodes well for the rest of 2014," Liberum analysts wrote in a note to clients. They noted that the jump was much larger than the 8.8 percent gain seen at the same time last year.
The company's events division accounts for nearly 60 percent of sales.
Some of its top shows this year include beauty trade event Cosmoprof Asia, Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, and U.S. tech security conference BlackHat.
UBM reported a 16.9 percent fall in adjusted first-quarter operating profit, as it raked in lower revenue from events in the UK and spent more on expansion.
Adjusted operating profit from continuing operations fell to 29.4 million pounds for the three months ended March 31.
Revenue fell 13.5 percent to 163 million pounds ($274 million) at the company, as some shows were delayed until later in the year and a stronger sterling hit overseas revenue.
The company said the average exchange rate for the pound to the U.S. dollar was 7.8 percent higher this quarter and 3.2 percent higher against the euro.
More than 85 percent of UBM's sales are typically made in currencies other than sterling.
Continuing revenue from its events business fell 13.2 percent. Adjusted operating profit in the unit fell 19.3 percent.
The company said continuing revenue at its PR Newswire service fell 5.1 percent and continuing adjusted operating profit fell 10.2 percent.
PR Newswire is a service used by companies to publish announcements for clients.
UBM shares were trading up 4.1 percent at 680 pence per share at 0859 GMT. ($1 = 0.5950 British Pounds) (Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Rodney Joyce)