MILAN — The trade show operator Italian Exhibition Group SpA, which originated from the merging of Fiera di Vicenza and Rimini Fiera in 2016, reported a 42.1 percent rise in net profits last year. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, earnings totaled 9.1 million euros, compared with 6.4 million euros in the previous year. The figures are pro-forma, considering the merger as if it had taken place in January 2016.

Revenues were up 4.7 percent to 130.7 million euros from 124.8 million euros in 2016. 

In 2017, between Rimini and Vicenza, IEG staged 59 shows, 280 meetings and events, and counted 15,649 exhibitors and more than 2.6 million visitors. The figures make IEG the second-largest trade shows in Italy in terms of sales volumes and the first in terms of directly organized events and business profitability.

In January, during the latest edition of the VicenzaOro jewelry trade show, the firm’s executive vice president Matteo Marzotto said IEG expects to close 2018 with revenues of 160 million euros. Based on the figures released on Monday and the performance of the first quarter of the year, the company said it was “confident to reach the ambitious targets it had forecast.” IEG aims to go public this year.

“The company is performing really well and I think that the listing would be a great opportunity [that] we shouldn’t miss,” Marzotto told WWD in January. “We are actually able to finance and sustain our business plan. Becoming public will enable us to do more and better and at the same time the Bourse will give the company an extraordinary exposure and credibility.”

The board of IEG on Monday proposed a dividend of 18 cents per share for a total of 5.5 million euros.

As of Dec. 31, net debt stood at 51.3 million euros, compared with 40.5 million euros in 2016, due to the distribution of a dividend of more than 10.5 million euros in 2017 and to investments of 23.9 million euros.

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