Birmingham-based catering and events company the NEC Group, which owns caterer Amadeus, has reported increases in its underlying turnover and profit, thanks in part to the improving economy.
The company, which is up for sale, recorded revenues of £122.8m for the year to 31 March 2014, down from £136m in the year to March 2013. Its 2013 figures included Amadeus's one-off, loss-making catering contract for the Olympic Park North in 2012. However, the NEC Group said that its revenues for 2013/14 actually rose 1.7% on an underlying basis.
Meanwhile, group operating profit climbed 44% to £22.3m, up from £15.5m last year.
Among Amadeus's contract wins for the year were the Library of Birmingham, Dudley Zoo, Stratford Riverside, Cadbury World and Birmingham's Symphony Hall and Town Hall, as well as a new contract for London's Camden Council.
NEC Group's largest division - the NEC - which operates the Birmingham exhibition venue of the same name, saw its operating profit increase by 9.6% to £34.3m in 2013/14.
Meanwhile, the total number of events and visitors to all of the group's owned venues remained virtually unchanged at 762 (compared to 763 in 2012/13) and visitors at 3.8m.
Commenting on the results, NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi said: "Our long-term growth and diversification strategy allied to the gradual recovery of the economy are having a continued positive effect on the NEC Group. The financial result reflects a variety of successful initiatives to improve profitability across our businesses, and together with new business wins this creates a good platform for the years ahead."
The business started out as the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in 1976 and has since grown to be a multi-faceted company that also includes the International Convention Centre, the LG Arena and the National Indoor Arena, as well as national ticket agency the Ticket Factory and hospitality brand Amplify.
Birmingham Council put the entire group up for sale in March this year.