Messe Frankfurt achieves the highest ever sales in the Group’s history
In 2012, Messe Frankfurt was the first German trade fair organiser ever to pass the €500 million sales mark, doing so by a substantial margin. On presenting the Group's preliminary key figures for 2012, Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt, stated: "We expect to generate sales of around €538 million – the highest ever in the history of our Group to date. Thanks to hard work and a little luck, we were able to better our planned levels by almost €40 million." This is a marked improvement of approximately 15 percent on trade fair year 2011, with new record levels of sales being achieved in both Germany and in foreign markets. Marzin: "With €169 million, we succeeded once again in increasing our operating business outside Germany by a substantial 28 percent compared with 2011, which was the previous record year". In the year currently drawing to a close, Messe Frankfurt generated an estimated 31 percent of its Group sales abroad.
Accordingly, its international events performed very well, with the highest exhibitor count ever recorded across the Group. The 109 trade fairs and exhibitions played host to some 77,300 exhibitors and over 2.9 million visitors.
At €42 million, the result from ordinary activities achieved based on these sales was once again stable and was on a par with 2010, a year with a comparable event schedule. Klaus Münster-Müller, Chief of Finance at Messe Frankfurt, commented: "Owing to the healthy level of earnings, it was possible to absorb a one-time payment of €13 million arising in connection with the termination of cross-border leasing arrangements this year". Factoring in this one-time special effect, consolidated profit before taxes is expected to be in the region of €30 million.
Healthy growth in Frankfurt and abroad
As regards the Group's growth, Wolfgang Marzin explained: "In 2012, we built on our international competitive position by means of our strategy of concentrating on Frankfurt and key world markets". The growing international character of the Group was reflected sustainably in the Group events held in Frankfurt. Here, the proportion of international exhibitors increased to a new record level of approximately 73 percent, while the all-time high of 47 percent achieved in 2010 was matched again on the visitor front.
In addition to stable and growing Group events, Messe Frankfurt's own and guest events helped to improve capacity utilisation at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds. A total of 35 trade fairs and exhibitions were held in Frankfurt, attracting over 41, 800 exhibitors and around 1.6 million visitors. The number of visitors is lower than in the previous year because the IAA International Motor Show, which is held at Messe Frankfurt every two years, was not scheduled to take place in 2012.
The company's service and convention business performed extremely well in the reporting year. Wolfgang Marzin stressed the importance of Messe Frankfurt's digital expertise: "We were quick to take strategic measures for our digital services and are now one of the leading companies in the sector".
Under the umbrella of the newly developed Dexperty brand, the Group is now bundling a wide-ranging development and service portfolio for trade fairs, congresses, conventions and all other kinds of events. Marzin: "In this way, we are not only expanding the services that we offer our customers, but we also see it as an important strategic growth field".
With a total of 76 large and multiple-day conventions and some 112,000 participants, the level of interest in the company's convention and congress business remained high. Messe Frankfurt sees great potential for expansion here. As of 2014, Kap Europa – which is located in the direct vicinity of the exhibition grounds – is set to play host to new conventions and themes that are new to Frankfurt. Marzin: "Kap Europa is already attracting considerable interest from the market during its construction phase, not least due to its prominent location and environmentally compatible design". While still in the construction stage, Kap Europa was awarded a gold pre-certificate from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in October, the first convention building ever to do so.
Once again, international business was a major growth driver for the Group in 2012. Here, new records were set with some 33, 000 exhibitors and over 1.2 million visitors. The 68 foreign events that were held included 12 new trade fairs making their debut, including in Russia, China and India.
Outlook for 2013: further growth and higher sales
As regards the Group's strategic objectives, Wolfgang Marzin stated that Messe Frankfurt intended to optimise its brand strategy across the entire Group in 2013. This means concentrating personnel, financial resources and capital on Frankfurt and on growth regions with selected key markets. Investments are to be made in the Group's Frankfurt base, above all in events and in digital business. Strategic alliances have also been planned with leading international partners and trade fair organisers.
Messe Frankfurt has its sights set on becoming faster and more powerful, among other things by optimising business processes. As Wolfgang Marzin emphasises: "In spite of our good market position – and also because of it – we need to work on efficiency and integration within the Messe Frankfurt Group".
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