Negative show rotation’ affects revenue of convention business, but earnings still higher than a year ago

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Steve Moster, president of Global Experience Specialists, is working with his team to set up the massive ConExpo-Con/Agg trade show that fills 4.6 million square feet of exhibit space.

Phoenix-based Viad, parent company of convention services giant Global Experience Specialists (GES) of Las Vegas, reported its second-quarter earnings Friday.

Company: Viad Corp (NYSE: VVI)

Revenue: $249.3 million (up 1.1 percent from the second quarter of 2012). Viad's Marketing and Events Group, of which GES is a part, showed a 6 percent decline in revenue, which was in line with the company's expectations because several shows that don't meet every year aren't meeting in 2013.

Earnings: $6.3 million (up 2.7 percent from the second quarter of 2012). The Marketing and Events Group earnings were off 53.3 percent within the United State because of the negative show rotation, but Viad's international division helped pick up the slack. The company was contracted to manage two major events: the Paris Air Show and the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

Earnings per share: 31 cents (up 3.3 percent from the second quarter of 2012).

Quote: "The industry continues to have positive growth in the mid-single-digit range, as expected. We've had a lot of success in terms of renewing some of our existing contracts and winning new ones on the corporate accounts side of the business. And we're being recognized overseas for some of the great work that we've done." — GES President Steve Moster

What it means: Viad executives anticipated and planned for the negative show rotation and is dedicating 2013 to developing new business.

Locally, Moster said the company is gearing for August's MAGIC Marketplace, a major fashion trade show in Las Vegas. Toward the end of the year, GES will begin logistics planning for the giant ConExpo-Con/Ag construction equipment trade show in March, an event that occurs every third year.

GES also produces public immersive experience exhibits, including the acclaimed Rain Room at New York's Museum of Modern Art, and a touring exhibition celebrating Harry Potter, currently in Tokyo.

In addition to the company's Marketing and Events Group, Viad has a Travel and Recreation Group that manages hotel properties at Glacier National Park as well as Canadian national parks Banff and Jasper. Severe flooding in Alberta in June affected second-quarter revenue for that division.

The company's third-quarter revenue forecast is the worst for 2013 because of negative show rotation. One of those events is MINExpo International in Las Vegas, a show conducted once every four years and which last appeared in 2012.