A spokeswoman for arena operator NEC Group tells Audience that publication of strongearnings for the 201702018 financial year and its ownership by private equity company make speculation of a possible sale of the business “inevitable”.
NEC, which owns Arena Birmingham (cap. 15,800), Genting Arena (15,700), ticketing agency The Ticket Factory and caterer Amadeus, reported revenue of £162.1 million ($ 212.9m) for the year ending 31 March 2018, a £4.4 million ($5.7m) or 2.8 per cent increase on the previous year.
The group’s earnings were up 9.8 per cent or £4.9m ($6.3m) on the previous year to £54.7m ($70.9m) before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation.
“This has been another exceptional year as we see further benefits of what is now a proven strategy,” says NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi
The group’s two arenas also saw their attendance levels grow by a total of 17 per cent to 1.6m compared to the previous year, helped by performances from Ed Sheeran, Drake and Lady Gaga.
NEC’s majority shareholder is Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), which completed its acquisition of the company for £307m ($398m) in 2015.
As Audience went to press, LDC had not responded to requests for comment on speculation about a possible sale.