Ipswich: Big fall in profits for Marcus Evans conference firm

THE conference management arm of Ipswich Town FC owner Marcus Evans’ group of businesses has seen its pre-tax profit fall by more than 75 per cent, new filed accounts have revealed.

Marcus Evans Ltd generated turnover of �11.519million in the 12 months to September 30, 2010 – down 6.9pc from �12.373m the previous year, with gross profit falling by 9.5pc, from �6.315m to �5.714m.

The company said this left the gross profit margin broadly flat, at 50pc against 51pc the previous year, and attributed this to “cost cutting measures put in place to help mitigate the effects of the difficult market”.

However, an increase in administrative expenses saw operating profit fall by 74.9pc, from �2.177m to �546,181, and interest charges further eroded the pre-tax total, which was 75.6pc lower at �536,543, against �2.205m the previous year.

The accounts, filed at Companies House at the end of March, state that the principal activity of the company is to manage and organise conferences on behalf of other Marcus Evans group companies and that its performance, measured by the number of events held and the number of delegates attending, was “in line with expectations of management”.

Mr Evans, who acquired a controlling stake in Ipswich Town in 2007, is not listed among the directors of Marcus Evans Ltd.

The immediate parent company of Marcus Evants Ltd is Marcus Evans (UK Holdings) Ltd, which is also a UK-registered company, although the ultimate parent is Marcus Evans Investments Ltd, which is wholly owned by Mr Evans and is registered in Bermuda.

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The accounts for Marcus Evans (UK Holdings) Ltd for the year to September 30, 2010, are not yet available and are listed on the Companies House website as “overdue”.

The Marcus Evans group of companies, which employs more than 3,000 people world-wide, is best known for business hospitality, training and conferences but also has an entertainments division which includes the theatrical agency Ken McReddie Associates.