(Reuters) - Shares of Hyve Group Plc soared as much as 13% in early trade on Monday, after the events organising firm said the pace of recovery has been faster than expected, as people rush to gather for in-person events again as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Hyve's comments signal a strong recovery in the pandemic-hit events sector, which was forced to cancel hundreds of shows and conferences due to lockdowns and travel restrictions during the height of the coronavirus crisis.
"The trends we saw emerge post-pandemic continue to hold true - in particular, our customers continue to spend more with us than before," Chief Executive Officer Mark Shashoua said.
Total revenue for the six months to June 24 showed a full recovery on a pro-forma basis, Hyve said, having ran all nine scheduled events except for three in war-ravaged Ukraine.
Its Shoptalk European edition in June almost doubled expectations, attracting over 3,000 attendees from more than 50 countries, it said.
Forward bookings for the year were at 122.3 million pounds ($150.65 million), Hyves said, with bookings for its Groceryshop due to be held in September expected to exceed the pre-pandemic edition.
($1 = 0.8118 pounds)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)