Return of festivals and events will boost Tracsis

Tracsis, which helps run major events such as Glastonbury, The Grand National, Cheltenham Festival and the British Grand Prix, has reported a strong financial performance as it returned to revenue growth and higher profits despite continued Covid-19 challenges.

The Leeds-based firm was hit by the Covid-19 lockdowns, which knocked back its events division as festivals and other events were cancelled.

Now, the firm expects all the usual events and festivals will take place next year.

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Chris Barnes, the firm's chief executive, said: "The Government has put in an insurance scheme for live events organisers and from what we can see, everything is fully back on.

Tracsis said it is well positioned to benefit from the strategic direction outlined for the UK rail industry

"The summer we've just been through was pretty crazy with lots of pent up demand and we expect that to continue."

Tracsis said that revenue rose 5 per cent to £50.2m in the year to July 31 and earnings rose 24 per cent to £13m. The group said that it is well placed to deliver further growth in the coming financial year and beyond.

Growth in the firm's higher margin rail technology & services division and in data analytics/GIS was partially offset by lower sales in its events and traffic data businesses due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Tracsis also said it is well positioned to benefit from the strategic direction outlined for the UK rail industry in the Williams-Shapps plan for rail.

Mr Barnes said: "We think we're really well placed for that and it's going to break down some of the barriers in the industry. From what we can tell, it's going to move to Great British Railways, a central organisation that runs the UK's railways.

"It's all going to come together and be much more integrated. We expect to see a much bigger shift to digital. We expect to see a really big push on smart ticketing.

"The Government is pushing a big agenda to make sure we see improvement in the railways."

He said that there will be a lot more investment in rail in the North.

"What we will see is a lot more investment in transport in the North of England. I think we're likely to see a much more integrated solution across Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, that type of transport network," he added.

"I think the Government, as part of its levelling up agenda, will lead with investment in the North."

The board is not declaring a final dividend, but expects to restore its progressive dividend policy in 2022.

Mr Barnes said: "We used the furlough scheme this year and last year, which has been great for us as it's helped us to keep people employed and helped us to retain jobs.

"While we were taking that money, we didn't think it was appropriate to pay out a dividend.

"By July 2021, we didn't have anyone left on furlough, people were back in the business, so going forwards we expect to return to dividends."

He said that the firm is proud to have kept its Yorkshire workforce throughout the pandemic.

"One of the things we've really focused on, with so many of our employees being based in Yorkshire, is protecting the jobs of our team," he said.

"We're really proud of the fact we deliberately looked after our people during this crisis. As a result we've had the capacity and capability to bounce right back. So if you look at the major events over the summer, we had the capacity ready to go because we looked after our people.

"We've had a handful of redundancies which probably would have happened anyway because of restructuring.

"We were able to protect around 150 jobs in total."

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