Stellar sales for Nova as portfolio expands

Sales grew by a healthy 9% at Great North Run organiser Nova Marketing after the firm expanded its sporting portfolio, launching two major cycling events

Brendan Foster founded Nova
Brendan Foster founded Nova

Newcastle-based Nova continued to grow its products last year, with the development of the Great Manchester Cycle and the Great Trail Challenge in Keswick, mass participation events which helped to lift revenues to £15.76m.

Group profit for the year also grew to £1.32m after taxation, up from £1.01m last year.

Now the firm, which employs 60 full-time staff, aims to grow turnover to £17.9m in the coming year as it explores new opportunities to expand its business brands Great Run, Great Swim, Great Cycle and Great CityGames , both in the UK and abroad.

Over the year, Nova, which also has offices in Glasgow, London and Manchester has grown it staff base by taking on two new recruits as well as five placements during the same period and this year the business continues to invest in its staff and is recruiting for four new roles.

Founded in 1988 by Olympic athlete Brendan Foster, Nova was also chosen to organise and deliver the first mass participation event in the Olympic Park in London, with the finish line on the track in the iconic 2012 Olympic stadium.

The company’s TV production arm, Filmnova, also increased their output of UK terrestrial broadcast hours. This included nine live TV broadcasts, five of which were on the BBC.

Latest accounts filed at Companies House show event marketing and TV and film production accounted for a third of all revenues, bringing in £5.32m.

The directors’ report accompanying the accounts said the firm will continue to work closely with charity partners, to allow them to maximise fundraising.

It said: “It is important that the events that Nova stage continue to drive economic impact the cities and regions, which provides the benefits to our public sector partners.

“In addition to organic growth, the group continues to seek opportunities to acquire established events from other events organisers.”

Looking forward, the company expects the bottom line of the group to continue to show growth, despite inevitable recessionary challenges.

Forthcoming projects include the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run in Glasgow this October.

Last year saw Nova invest further in their digital media channels, notably Great Run trainer, a multi-platform app launched to support training for the portfolio of events.

Eric Wilkins, chief executive, said: “2012 was an important year for Nova as we further expanded into other sporting areas. Being selected to organise the first major event in the Olympic Stadium has reinforced our reputation in the mass participation sporting events industry.”

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