Emerald Holding, Inc. reported significantly improved earnings and sales in the fourth quarter and year ended December 31 as trade shows continue to return to in-person events.

Emerald hosts over 140 yearly events across multiple industries. In the active lifestyle space, venues include Outdoor Retailer, Surf Expo, The Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show, Impressions, Swim Collective, and Active Collective.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenues of $325.9 million for 2022, an increase of $180.4 million, or 124.0 percent, on an increase in events staged in FY 2022 versus FY 2021;
    • Organic Revenues, a non-GAAP measure that takes into account the impact of COVID-19 related cancellations as well as acquisitions, of $205.1 million for 2022, an increase of $59.6 million, or 41.0 percent, from $145.5 million for 2021 
  • Net income of $130.8 million for 2022, compared to net loss of $79.7 million for 2021;
  • Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, of $239.6 million for 2022, compared to $44.1 million for 2021; Adjusted EBITDA excluding insurance proceeds, a non-GAAP measure, of $56.8 million for 2022, compared to negative $33.3 million for 2021; 
  • Bought back 2.9 million shares of common stock at an average price of $3.60 per share during 2022;
  • Ended the quarter with $239.1 million in cash and full availability of its $100.4 million revolving credit facility; and
  • For the full year 2023, the company expects to generate in excess of $400 million of revenue and $100 million of Adjusted EBITDA

Operational Highlights

  • Emerald is set up for future growth as the post-COVID recovery cycle takes hold;
  • Emerald successfully staged 124 in-person trade shows, conferences and other events in FY 2022 as the company builds back from the COVID-19 pandemic and customers eagerly returned to in-person events;
  • Since the beginning of FY 2022, Emerald completed three strategic acquisitions, including Advertising Week, Bulletin and Lodestone, bringing the total number of acquisitions completed over the last two years to eight; and
  • Xcelerator unit launched four new brands in 2022 in high-growth sectors, including food, decentralized finance, psychedelics, and mental health, helping to drive incremental organic growth.

Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s president and chief executive officer, said, “We witnessed a strong recovery in the events industry in 2022 as COVID waned and exhibitors and attendees were eager to get back to in-person events. Our unique business model offers multiple revenue drivers including organic growth, our Xcelerator program for new event launches, and our acquisitions strategy, all focused on making Emerald a stronger leader in the industry. As a leading consolidator of live events, we’ve acquired eight businesses over the last two years that build on our existing capabilities across our events, content, and e-commerce platforms. We also successfully launched four new brands in high-growth sectors through our Xcelerator program in 2022, providing us with an opportunity to apply Emerald’s flywheel and add significant scale to the business. Our proprietary data, content business and e-commerce abilities are also enabling us to meet our customer’s needs at every turn while growing our audiences and driving higher revenue per customer. As we move into 2023, we are focused on our three strategic priorities of customer centricity, 365-day engagement, and portfolio optimization, and are confident in the future of the industry and our place as a leading player.”

David Doft, Emerald’s CFO, added, “We are very pleased with our performance in 2022, delivering over $325 million of revenue and almost $57 million of Adjusted EBITDA, both exceeding our previously stated guidance. This past year, we continued to invest in our business to drive growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Our free cash flow in the fourth quarter 2022 was impacted by timing shifts in working capital, as event sign-ups and contractual deposit due dates have fluctuated as customer behavior returns to normal. We expect to have meaningful cash leverage in our business model as increases in free cash flow align closely with Adjusted EBITDA growth. Looking ahead, interest in event participation has continued on a strong and positive trajectory, giving us confidence in the year ahead. For the full year 2023, we project that we will generate in excess of $400 million of revenue and $100 million of Adjusted EBITDA.”