ITE Group's revenue rose to £152.6m in the year to the end of September, growth of 5% on a like-for-like basis.

The group said this was the first year of like-for-like revenue growth for four years and a pleasing result from the implementation of the first initiatives of its new strategy.

It said that as expected, headline profit before tax was lower at £31.6m (2016: £36.5m) after the planned investment in the new TAG programme.

The pre-tax loss of £3.2m was down from £4.1m last time.

And it said net debt had been reduced by 16% to £49.7m (2016: £59.1m).

It said: 'In Russia, and in particular in Moscow, there were good signs that the economy is improving after the geopolitical issues of recent years, yet we are still experiencing challenges in many of our other markets.'

The group declared a full year dividend of 4.0p per share - down from 4.5p in 2016.

Chief executive Mark Shashoua said: 'I am pleased to report that ITE has posted like-for-like revenue growth of 5% after three years of difficult trading.

'On our top ten events we have driven like-for-like top line growth of 15%. This growth in part reflects the successful rollout of the first phase of our TAG initiatives and our decision to focus on Core events that have the greatest capacity for growth.

'Whilst there have been challenging trading conditions in Russia outside of Moscow, Central Asia and in Turkey, we have seen the benefit of improved trading in Moscow.

'Our TAG programme is on track; during 2017 we have assembled the right team, structure and processes that we believe will lead to success. Even at this early stage, we are clearly seeing the benefits of our TAG initiatives, through growth in our Core events and forward bookings.

'Our next financial year is underpinned by good visibility with circa. £98m of forward bookings, up 20% on last year on a like-for-like basis.

'ITE is well placed to realise its vision of creating the world's leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events that deliver an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers.

'A fast pace has been set in the last year which we look forward to continuing into 2018 and beyond.'