SECC Reports Record £6.7M Profit

A major exhibition and conference centre has celebrated its most successful-ever financial results, boosted by the Commonwealth Games and the new SSE Hydro.

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) reported a record pre-tax profit of £6.7 million for the year 2014/5, with an increase in turnover of 50% to £34.9 million.

Chief executive Peter Duthie said the SSE Hydro, which opened in autumn 2013, has been "the catalyst for this success''.

The results were boosted by the SECC campus hosting events such as the Commonwealth Games, 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony, the Ryder Cup gala concert and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Commercial turnover for the year increased by 98% driven by the income stream from sponsorship and hospitality.

Mr Duthie said: "These are outstanding results which should be measured not only in financial terms, but also by the increased economic impact generated by the campus, with over 2.15 million visitors and numerous prestigious events held during the year.

"As a result of the business conducted by the company the net additional expenditure in Glasgow was estimated at £485 million, in Scotland £273 million and in the UK £117 million.

"The SECC was a key venue for the Commonwealth Games, however it is important to note that these expenditure figures exclude any impact from this event.

"The SSE Hydro has been the catalyst for this success. The venue hosted over 130 live entertainment performances in the year, with over one million visitors making it the second busiest live entertainment arena in the world in 2014.''

He added: "Whilst this year's results are exceptional, we do not expect a repeat of this in the current financial year.

"Whilst still showing overall underlying growth, next year's results will be influenced by the major new investment programme already under way to ensure that the SSE Hydro is part of a truly world-class campus.''

For the year 2014/5, overall operating costs increased by 21% from £23.1 million to £27.9 million as a result of the enlarged business.

The company also recorded that conference turnover increased by 12% and, despite difficult conditions in the exhibition sector, turnover increased by 8% helped by the return of biennial shows and other new launches.

Live entertainment turnover increased by 44% with a full year of events hosted in the SSE Hydro.

Mr Duthie said that demand for future events in the SSE Hydro continues to be strong, with a host of international artists lined up including Neil Diamond, Bette Midler, Fleetwood Mac and U2, performing in one of only two UK venues during their world tour.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, welcomed the financial results.

He said: "This is fantastic news and demonstrates exactly why we were right to invest in the city's world-class venues.

"The success of both the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the SSE Hydro has been phenomenal, and these figures give another indication of how the city has benefited.

"Glasgow is one of the UK's outstanding performers in the tourism and events business, and confidence in us is at an all-time high.

"What's more, our forecast is that 2015 will be another high-performing year for the tourist industry in Glasgow.''

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