Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Main Event earnings spike, predicts more growth in 2018

Published:Wednesday | January 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson/ Senior Business Reporter

Main Event Entertainment Group said it found another highlight event to replace income from the popular Major Lazer & Friends concert, a seasonal money-spinner for the company that would have impacted its December earnings.

Additionally for 2018, the entertainment company expects to make greater inroads in the north coast, a concentrated zone for tourists.

"The north coast is a very peculiar market and will take some time to build. We have a growing presence in this market, but we are at this juncture unable to divulge our strategic plans for competitive reasons," said director Ian Blair.

Major Lazer, the global hit-making trio, has been to Jamaica for five consecutive years headlining a large concert in December at Mas Camp in Kingston. Main Event provided the staging and lighting equipment.

"The Major Lazer event was replaced by our execution of 'Fireworks on the Waterfront', which was new and different in its execution," said Blair. The fireworks event is staged annually on New Year's Eve

by the Urban Development Corporation.

"According to reports, this might have been the biggest event of

the calendar year,"

Blair said.

The impact of the Christmas season on Main Event will be incorporated in the company's first quarter financials for the period ending January, which are due for release in

mid-March.

The company reported marginal gains in annual revenues for its financial year ending October 2017, but profit spiked 80 per cent, which equated to earnings per share at $0.35 versus $0.24 a year earlier.

Main Event made up for the flat revenues by slashing direct costs by 13 per cent for the year. Its $137 million in capital expenditure enabled the company to substantially dial back its outside sourcing of equipment.

"This has made us more competitive now and in future," Blair said.

Revenue in 2017 rose by $45 million to $1.17 billion. Net profit spiked from $56 million to $101 million.

The company operates three revenue segments, including audio and film, which brought in $219.5 million; digital signage, $119.5 million; and entertainment promotions, $836.3 million. Revenues in the digital signage and audio and film segments both grew year on year, while entertainment promotions declined during

the year.

"The 'entertainment promotions' revenues were flat this financial year because of the marketing spend of some clients. We were able to attract some new clients, which reduced this impact,"

said Blair.

"The strategic realignment by a few clients saw a shift in how they allocate their spend. We anticipate some of these clients' spend will return to normal. As you are aware, most of these clients are in highly competitive industries," the director explained. He adds that the company is predicting business growth in 2018.

Main Event was incorporated in 2004 by CEO Solomon Sharpe and COO Richard Bair, who took the company public last year and listed it on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com