I’d be less than candid if I said that during the past five years I have not been discouraged by the lack of a clear business recovery and angered by the absence of realistic steps to get the economy back on track. Throughout this period, though, I have remained extremely proud of our team. Having successfully navigated our way through the Great Recession, we can, I believe, conquer any challenge that is thrown at us.
I also believe there’s now reason for guarded optimism about the economy—it’s recovering slowly, but it is recovering. Here at AIN, we have seen green shoots popping up in the second half of 2013, and particularly in the fourth quarter of this past year. We anticipate that this trend will persist through 2014 and then accelerate. Many forecasts for 2015 and beyond project a strong boost in overall business activity, translating into an increase in new-aircraft deliveries.
Our company ended the year approximately 4 percent above 2012 on a “same-store” basis. We saw significant improvement in the second half of 2013 and particularly in the fourth quarter. Moreover, we are noticing substantial increases in forward bookings for 2014.
This past year we published our signature on-site daily issues at seven events, including five outside the U.S. One of those five was the LABACE event in São Paulo, where we provided daily coverage for the first time. AIN’s participation was a success for all concerned, including attendees, exhibitors and ABAG, the organization that produces this important trade show. A recent forecast shows the Brazilian market will be one of the fastest growing for business aircraft in the entire world, and AIN will be publishing daily editions at LABACE every year from now on.
In 2014, in fact, we will publish at eight major events: Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California; NBAA in Orlando, Florida; the Singapore and Farnborough Air Shows (100 percent aerospace coverage); ABACE in Shanghai; EBACE in Geneva; LABACE in São Paulo; and MEBA in Dubai.
Our on-site publishing division is growing, and why not? Where else can our clients have “boots on the ground” at all of the most important marketing events around the world and have their messages delivered to a clearly defined business/trade-only audience? Whether it is in China, the Middle East, Brazil, Europe or anywhere else, our advertising clients are smart: they let AIN do the heavy lifting for them.
We did just that at the recent NBAA event in Las Vegas, where our editions were chock full of excellent stories—and chock full of advertising. As I have often said to my industry friends, if you are building airplanes, weight is your enemy, but if you are producing publications, weight is your friend. I believe our NBAA issues this year were the finest we have ever published in our 42-year history. Certainly, I have never received as many compliments from clients and readers as I did in Las Vegas this October.