Pico Far East Holdings Limited announces 2020 Interim Results

Operating performance affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Focus on digitalisation as a revenue generator and competitive edge for growing business.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue decreased by 24.5% to HK$1,868 million
  • Profit from core operations decreased by 56.1% to HK$84.3 million
  • EBITDA decreased by 48.3% to HK$114 million


Financial Summary For the 6 months ended 30 April (HK$'Million)
2020 2019 Change
Revenue 1,868 2,474.1 -24.5%
Gross profit 616.1 739.1 -16.6%
Gross profit margin (%) 33.0% 29.9% +3.1ppts
Profit from core operations 84.3 192.0 -56.1%
*EBITDA 113.6 219.7 -48.3%
Profit attributable to owners of the Company 24.1 123.0 -80.4%
Net profit margin (%)  1.3% 5.0% -3.7ppts
Basic earnings per share HK1.95 cents HK9.95 cents -80.4%
Interim dividend per share (recommended) Nil HK4.5 cents NA

*Before a change in remeasurement of contingent consideration


(Hong Kong, 22 June 2020) Pico Far East Holdings Limited (‘Pico’, ‘the Company’ or ‘the Group’, Stock code: 752.HK), a leading global total brand activation company, today announced its 2020 interim results for the six months ended 30 April 2020.

A re-escalation of US-China trade disputes and global geopolitical tensions began the Group’s financial year with dampened expectations of slower growth. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak our operational results were on target. Since January 2020 the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in lockdowns in almost all their markets. Consequently, to an unprecedented degree, the global Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry has been disrupted to the extent that it is in a dormant state.

Stringent credit control and cash preservation measures were put in place to protect the Group’s cash position and ensure business continuity. The effect of these measures was offset by increased distribution costs and administrative expenses, mainly due to the first-time inclusion of a full six months of financials of two newly acquired businesses in the middle of last year.

Group revenue for the six months ended 30 April 2020 was HK$1,868 million, a 24.5% decrease from the HK$2,474 million of the previous corresponding period. Profit from core operations was HK$84.3 million (2019: HK$192 million), a 56.1% decrease compared with the previous corresponding period. Profit attributable to owners of the Company was HK$24.1 million (2019: HK$123 million).

Basic earnings per share is HK1.95 cents, compared to HK9.95 cents in the previous corresponding period.

In view of the exceptional circumstances of a deteriorating operating environment and continued uncertainty, Pico believes that decisive measures are required for the protection of the business. As a result, the Board does not recommend payment of an interim dividend. Pico believes this to be a prudent and responsible measure to preserve cash for the long-term financial condition of the Group and to protect the shareholders by ensuring the Company remains in a good financial position.


Business Review

Revenue by segment For the 6 months ended 30 April
2020 2019

Change in


HK$’ Million

% to Group’s 


HK$’ Million

% to Group’s


Exhibition and Event Marketing Services 1,481 79.3% 2,057 83.2% -28.0%
Visual Branding Experiences 81 4.3% 147 5.9% -44.9%
Museum, Themed Environment, Interior and Retail 276 14.8% 205 8.3% +34.6%
Conference and Show Management 30 1.6% 65 2.6% -53.8%


Revenue by region For the 6 months ended 30 April
2020 2019
HK$’ Million % to Group’s Revenue HK$’ Million % to Group’s Revenue

Greater China

(Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan)
802 43.0% 1,476 59.7%

Southeast Asia

 (Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam)

404  21.6%  479 19.4%

Middle East

(Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE)

302  16.2% 228 9.2%
UK, US and Italy 279  14.9% 212 8.6%
Others 81  4.3%  79 3.1%
TOTAL 1,868  100% 2,474 100%



Amid uncertainty about when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, it is impossible to project an outlook for the full year.

Nevertheless, with the reopening of the China market from May, many major shows are now scheduled in the second half of the year. The Group is cautiously optimistic that the reopening of the China market will enable the Group to recover more quickly.

Going virtual is one obvious option for events and conferences while under lockdown or restrictions on public gatherings. The demand for digital solutions for online and virtual events has significantly increased and is being fulfilled by Pico’s digital enablement capabilities.

Pico’s ongoing digital transformation and innovation strategy has been instrumental to driving new business – particularly in the Visual Branding Experiences and Museum, Themed Environment, Interior and Retail segments. Pico continues to pursue opportunities in retail intelligent showrooms, corporate digital showrooms, experience centres and galleries with digital and technology content and installations.

Pico is using the current situation as an opportunity to review the business strategies, rationalise the operational structure, and further streamline operational processes to increase productivity and cost efficiency. Pico has also accelerated their marketing efforts to provide digital strategies and solutions, for clients during the ongoing pandemic and the post-COVID-19 era. The digitalisation strategy Pico started four years ago is now becoming an important revenue generator and competitive edge for growing the business.