SECC profits boosted by record conference haul

The company behind the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) and the SSE Hydro has reported a steady rise in turnover and underlying earnings after enjoying a record year for conference events.

The SSE Hydro is a striking addition to the Glasgow skyline. Picture: John Devlin

Scottish Exhibition Centre Limited said turnover and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) – excluding the impact of the 2014 Commonwealth Games on comparative figures – had increased to £29.4 million and £3.8m respectively in the year ended 31 March.

It reported a record year for conferences with 16 international events held and 18 per cent revenue growth for the sector.

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Turnover from exhibitions increased by 17 per cent over the previous year with six new shows added, as well as a high retention level for established events. In 2015, the venue was host to the All Energy exhibition and conference – the largest sustainable energy show in the UK.

Bosses said the growth in the conference and exhibition sectors had in part been facilitated by greater space availability created by the majority of live entertainment activity moving into the SSE Hydro venue.

The SSE Hydro, which was designed by Foster & Partners and provides a striking addition to the Glasgow skyline, maintained a top-three position in the Pollstar rankings for the busiest live entertainment arenas worldwide.

A wide range of events was staged throughout the various SECC sites, including musical and stage productions, comedy and live music.

Chief executive Peter Duthie said: “Whilst not repeating the record levels of the previous year which were driven by the Commonwealth Games, these results are extremely encouraging with growth throughout the business.

“Over the past few years we have invested in the campus facilities, primarily in the construction of the SSE Hydro and related infrastructure and already are seeing the benefits. Trading profits will continue to be reinvested to ensure the existing facilities meet the needs of our customers in an increasingly competitive market.”