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Avesco Group swings to losses in 2009, looks to Vancouver Olympics and FIFA World Cup

Avesco Group (AIM: AVS) swung to losses in 2009, going from a profit of £6.5 million to a pre-tax loss of £13.2 million for the full year ending 30 September 2009, which the company said was a period of “acute economic downturn,” impacting its corporate presentation, entertainment and broadcast markets.

The group posted revenues of £90.2 million compared to £94.8 million in 2008, marking a 5% contraction, which, however, would amount to 15% with the effect of currency movements taken in consideration.

Operating loss amounted to £12.1 million following last year’s profit of £7.4 million, while losses per share were at 52.9 pence after earnings per share of 26.5pence in 2008.

“The results...reflect a period of acute economic downturn, which to varying degrees has impacted all of our businesses. Our objective during these difficult times was not just to weather the economic headwinds that we were facing but also to ensure that we retain the full operational capability of the group and that we emerge as a stronger business,” said chief executive Ian Martin.

The company said it was seeing signs of stability returning as customers become more positive about their future plans. Avesco is also expecting to benefit from the upcoming events scheduled for this year, including the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where it has contracted broadcast project work.

“Having had to live with the unprecedented market conditions of the last twelve months it would be premature to suggest we are on the verge of an upturn but we are hopeful that the market may now at least be stabilising,” the company said in the statement.

Avesco added that forward visibility on revenues was limited, but the outlook and the level of customer enquiry “noticeably improved.”

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company