Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Main Event profits spike in second quarter

Published:Friday | June 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson

Main Event Entertainment Group earnings improved marginally in the first quarter, but rose by double digits in the second quarter ending April, despite an overall clampdown on entertainment events.

Local authorities have been issuing fewer entertainment and amusement licences. Promoters require these permits to legally stage events, from small community affairs to festivals.

"The decline in the granting of amusement licences ... has not had any effect on our business. As you are aware, we execute the marketing strategies through corporate events, and so on, for some of the largest corporations in Jamaica," Main Event director Dr Ian Blair told the Financial Gleaner.

Main Event's "very good" revenue periods include carnival season in April and summer festivals and concerts in the third quarter.

"During the past two years, we have executed special events for our main clients - which include some of the largest corporates in Jamaica - that have given some balance to the other periods," Blair said.

In the first quarter ending January 2017, the company made net profit of $23.6 million on revenues of $332.7 million or flat net profit. Profit inched up two per cent relative to $23.1 million of earnings in the year prior period.

In the April quarter, the events company made net profit of $51.3 million, up 16 per cent, on revenues of $319 million.

"The flat first-quarter revenues was due to a postponement from one of our major clients, due to their corporate restructuring," said Blair.

At half-year, Main Event's earnings per share rose from 21 cents to 25 cents. Over the six months, the company acquired $103 million worth of assets, including new equipment valued at $46 million and audio and film assets at $50.4 million.

Jamaican authorities issued 23,100 amusement licences in 2016, a fall-off of 13.4 per cent from 26,500 in 2015, according to the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ) released this month by the Planning Institute of Jamaica. The decline was attributed to the clampdown on criminal activity, which targets select individuals at public events.

"The decline in licences distributed by the police may be attributed to an increase in criminal and violent activities across some parishes, particularly KSAC, St Thomas and St James," stated the ESSJ.

Main Event, described as Jamaica's largest digital signage and structured-events management company, listed on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange in February after raising $120 million to grow the business.

Main Event shares, which trade under the symbol MEEG, closed at $5.99 on Wednesday, or triple its $2 listing price. The stock has traded as high as $8 since its debut.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com