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August 19, 2008

Do venue group’s strong results reveal answer to the downturn?

Turnover has risen to £14 million for the year ending 31 June 2008 for etc.venues, 36% higher than that for the previous 12 months.

Over the same period, capital investment in new and existing venues increased 400% to £4.2 million with a further commitment of £1.3 million being made into existing venues during the summer.

Managing director Alastair Stewart put the strong results down to etc.venues unique offer that provides options for companies looking to save money on their internal events, and is confident that this is the route to further success during the economic downturn.

“Our success is down to the specialist nature of our business, which makes us easy to buy when training or event budgets are squeezed,” he explained. “Our bookers know they are going to get a dedicated environment with everything they need for a first-class training or meeting outcome, all included in a very cost-effective rate.

Maple House: Described by Marketing Birmingham as "incredible"

“The fact that we are non-residential and always positioned in city-centre locations close to public transport strengthens the offering even further as companies seek to reduce residential training, save cost, time and carbon footprint when organising off site meetings,” he continued.

“On the back of a strong trading performance and the capital resources available through our private equity owners Dunedin Capital Partners, we are well placed to take advantage of market turbulence which I believe is bound to start affecting less well financed venue businesses and lead to further consolidation.

“I am positive about the short term as our order book for the next six months is 20% ahead of last year and we have benefited from very high levels of client retention, along with a major new client win from a serviced office group.”

Etc.venues also continues to deliver on its commitment to upgrade its existing venues with a £1 million summer refurbishment programme at its City and London Bridge located venues, plus Avonmouth House in Southwark is currently closed for a major refurbishment and due to reopen in September.

Meanwhile, its Midlands venue Maple House received a glowing review from Marketing Birmingham. Open in June 2008, the organisation described the venue as “incredible”, calling it “a little gem”. Incredible certainly seems to be the word as Maple House has taken £300,000 of bookings in its first five weeks.

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