* Sees 2021 revenue of around 1.8 billion stg
* Shares rise 3%, among top FTSE 100 gainers
* H1 profit down more than 40%
July 29 (Reuters) - Informa raised its 2021 revenue
forecast on Thursday as the UK-based events organiser looks to
hold more trade shows in China, the United States and Middle
East this year, adding it was confident of exhibitors returning
The world's largest exhibitions group, whose upcoming shows
include Black Hat USA and Global Health Exhibition Riyadh,
raised its revenue forecast for the year to about 1.8 billion
pounds ($2.5 billion) from 1.7 billion expected previously.
The company said it has more than 100 events scheduled for
the second half in the United States, Middle East and China,
adding it was possible that its Chinese business could return
close to 2019 levels next year, though Europe continued to lag.
Shares in the blue-chip FTSE 100 index constituent
were up 3.3% at 500.2 pence by 0906 GMT.
The events industry has been battered by the pandemic as
organisers had to deal with hundred of postponements and
cancellations, and while some events have lately returned this
has often been with smaller crowds due to social distancing.
However Informa said business trends were improving. "We've
seen rebooking rates which are very comparable to previous years
and that gives us quite a significant degree of confidence,"
Chief Executive Stephen Carter told Reuters.
While Mainland China is leading the recovery, Informa said
events in North America and Middle East were close behind.
For the six months to June 30 Informa reported a more than
40% drop in adjusted operating profit to 69.2 million pounds on
revenue of 688.9 million.
For its subscription business, which includes academic
journal Taylor & Francis, it expects annual revenue growth of
more than 2% on "robust" renewals and strength in e-books.
Also on Thursday peer Relx, whose events business is
much smaller than Informa's, reported a smaller loss for the
division thanks to cost cuts. Strength in analytics helped it
lift its 2021 outlook.
($1 = 0.7166 pounds)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru
Editing by Uttaresh.V and David Holmes)