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05.12.2014 Messe Frankfurt sets new sales record of €550 million with sustainable positive earnings

In financial year 2014, Messe Frankfurt further increased its sales while also generating sustainable positive earnings. The Group’s sales increased moderately to a new record total of more than €550 million. At over €45 million, the company’s pre-tax earnings were once again at a high and stable level. Adjusted for depreciation and financing costs, this gives rise to an EBITDA of around €96 million. Consolidated annual net income will be more than €30 million again this year.

As part of its long-term master plan “Messe Frankfurt 2020”, the Group achieved important milestones in an economic environment that was not always favourable and set its sights on new milestones for the years immediately ahead. On presenting the Group’s preliminary key figures for 2014 in Frankfurt am Main, Wolfgang Marzin, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt, stressed: “With our sustainable profitability, we create the scope we need for developing our company and, in turn, strengthen our excellent market position in global growth markets”.

In Germany, consolidated sales of over €354 million were generated over the past year; this is somewhat less than in the past two years owing to the event cycle. Sales outside Germany increased significantly owing to considerable business expansion and trade fair cycles. Consolidated, this figure is in the region of €196 million, which is also a new record. This means that the growing share of foreign business now accounts for some 36 percent of overall sales.

At the end of the year, the Messe Frankfurt Group will have over 2,200 active employees, around 43 percent of whom are based outside Germany.

Sustainable company success through the expansion and growth of existing areas of business and expertise

Messe Frankfurt’s strong operating business activities are reflected in the key figures for its events. Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH: “Messe Frankfurt events worldwide played host to over 84,900 exhibitors – more than ever before – and over three million visitors. Of the 120 trade fairs and exhibitions that took place around the globe, 76 events were held outside Germany. We set new records with over 43,000 exhibitors and 1.5 million visitors.” In spite of these encouraging results, it is important not to forget the volatile environment and ongoing structural changes in individual sectors. As Braun stresses: “We are responding with a sound business model, with the right strategy and with suitably adapted structures in our Group.” With a broad event portfolio that is geared towards growth, the company has also ensured an optimal spread of risk.

In Germany, Messe Frankfurt is enjoying stable business at a high level. It also entered into strategic partnerships with trade fair companies Hamburg Messe, Messe Essen and Leipziger Messe. A robust performance was delivered by the company’s core business at its Frankfurt base – both in the trade fair and congress business. The positive overall picture is rounded off by parameters such as the high level of customer satisfaction and of international participation at Group events – namely 74 percent among exhibitors and 48 percent among visitors.

Working closely together with the sector, Messe Frankfurt has decided to launch its own trade fair for tool-making, mould-making, design, product development and additive manufacturing technology in 2015. Uwe Behm, Member of the Executive Board, announced that Formnext would be held between 24 and 27 November 2015 on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, stressing: “With Formnext, we are providing a new trade fair format, which is something that has been frequently requested by sector representatives. Formnext will be the international business platform for the sector.”

Foreign business is the main growth driver. As Detlef Braun emphasised: “Here, we have stepped up the pace of business considerably in a number of regions.” The company is showing increased global presence and concentration in selected regions and countries, primarily Asia, Turkey and Russia. Here, by means of acquisitions and exporting brands, the portfolio was extended by a total of 13 new events in 2014. In India, Messe Frankfurt made six suitable acquisitions, increasing its range of events in the country to a total of 17. The most recent acquisition in Russia was Modern Bakery, the only trade fair in Russia and the CIS that covers the entire spectrum of the bakery and confectionery sector and all related areas.

Messe Frankfurt will be joining forces with ZAO Expoforum which owns and operates the new trade fair and congress grounds in St. Petersburg. Among other things, it will be providing its new partner with expert advice on marketing its exhibition grounds.

Africa is becoming more of a focus for the Group’s activities. Here, the company acquired a majority stake in South African trade fair organiser South African Show Services in the summer, as well as setting up a new subsidiary and purchasing an existing package of events. As Uwe Behm, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, explains: “We are giving extensive thought to further events and formats, including in neighbouring countries”. To date, Messe Frankfurt has entered into a strategic partnership with Trade and Fairs East Africa Ltd. and planetfair GmbH + Co. KG. As of next year, East Africa’s only security trade fair will take place under the name SecProTec EAST AFRICA powered by Intersec.

As part of its long-term master plan, Messe Frankfurt has set new cornerstones for developing its exhibition grounds by scheduling new investments there. The new Operation & Security Center went into service in the summer following the opening of the Kap Europa congress centre. Uwe Behm: “By concentrating all controlling, operational safety and site security in a single location, we have implemented a project that is the only one of its kind in the trade fair sector to date.”

Yesterday, the Supervisory Board approved an investment volume of around €300 million for the second stage of the exhibition grounds expansion as part of the master plan.
Now that the architectural competitions for the new South Entrance and for Hall 12 have been brought to a successful close, the course has been set for developing these two large-scale projects.

In 2015, the Group aims to further strengthen its leading international position and the Messe Frankfurt brand. Wolfgang Marzin: “We will continue our course in our core areas of expertise and defined target groups. At the same time, we will also serve the most important markets, both in Frankfurt and worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group will continue to go from strength to strength in the coming year.”

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade show organisers with around 550* million euros in sales and more than 2,200* employees worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 120* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.
The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.

* preliminary numbers 2014

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