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Messe Frankfurt sets new record of €715 million in sales

13 Dec 2018

Messe Frankfurt has continued its growth in financial year 2018. All in all, new records were set in relevant parameters, demonstrating the highly dynamic and innovation-led activities of the Group. Messe Frankfurt is expecting sales to be in the region of €715 million. The 490-plus events held around the world under the Messe Frankfurt umbrella were attended by almost 102,000 exhibitors and an estimated 4.5 million visitors.

Peter Feldmann, Chairman of the Messe Frankfurt Supervisory Board and Mayor of Frankfurt, was delighted at the outstanding figures: “As the majority shareholder, we are proud to have a company like Messe Frankfurt in our investment portfolio.” The close historical ties between the city of Frankfurt and Messe Frankfurt have always led to advancements on both sides, not least through the economic effects generated by the events in Frankfurt and throughout the region. In 2018, around 54 percent of overall sales – approximately €385 million – can be attributed to the company’s Frankfurt base. As Mayor Feldmann stressed: “Messe Frankfurt generated almost €424 million in Germany alone. This is a new record and is roughly equivalent to the overall sales recorded by the next largest German competitors in the past.”

Messe Frankfurt continued to build on its leading position in the international trade fair and exhibition sector. On presenting the Group’s preliminary top figures for 2018, Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt, said: “We have further globalised our brands and stepped up the pace of our worldwide acquisition activities. At almost 150 trade fairs, some 102,000 exhibitors – more than ever before – put their trust in us and invested in interaction formats. Messe Frankfurt is a pillar of strength in the fast-moving digital age.” The strong operating business in the past financial year has also yielded record financial figures. Wolfgang Marzin: “We expect to generate consolidated sales of around €715 million, which will be the highest level of sales in Messe Frankfurt’s history to date and, at the same time, the highest ever generated by a German trade fair company.” This is an increase of around seven percent on its previous record year 2017. New records were set in annual net income with some €59 million and in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) with approximately €133 million. As Wolfgang Marzin emphasised: “We have an expansion strategy tailored specially towards the Group and are taking it resolutely to the next level. A key USP for Messe Frankfurt is its first-class global network.”

Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, noted: “It is essential to have a target to aim for and, in volatile times such as these, a steady hand. We have achieved this with a new exhibitor record of 102,000 companies and an estimated 4.5 million visitors at our international platforms. I for one firmly believe that the success of our work is best measured in terms of people, who are the focus of everything we do.” The international component at Group events in Frankfurt has also increased. “Roughly 78 percent of our exhibitors and 56 percent of visitors come to Frankfurt from outside Germany”, said Detlef Braun. With regard to the operating business, he explained: “There is no doubt that there is a need for face-to-face contact – in fact, the key is to find an intelligent way to bring the analogue and digital worlds together. In this connection, we are pulling out all the stops to prime our events for the future.” Messe Frankfurt makes ongoing and sustainable investments in its events around the world, often doing so counter-cyclically to great effect. With Hall 12 in operation, our entire event portfolio in Frankfurt will be starting the new year with optimised exhibition grounds concepts and clear hall structures, its sights set on further growth.

Messe Frankfurt increasingly embraces technological advancements that have the capacity to bring about extensive changes and innovations throughout the industry sector worldwide. Uwe Behm, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, stated: “With Formnext and SPS, we have two events in the portfolio that illustrate Industry 4.0 in a particularly striking way.

With some 280 guest events, capacity utilisation at our Frankfurt base was also very good. The congress and conference business was a great success as well, with more than 170 events playing host to 146,000 participants.” During the construction of the new Hall 5, Messe Frankfurt will be taking the opportunity to revitalise its Congress Center. Uwe Behm: “We have no doubt that this will result in further success for the congress and conference business while also increasing Frankfurt’s appeal as a conference centre.” Messe Frankfurt operates two congress venues at its Frankfurt base – the Congress Center and Kap Europa – as well as having over 90 congress and conference halls on its exhibition grounds. In 2018, the Kap Europa congress centre was booked out for the entire year. Uwe Behm: “Our Services business field has reported an extremely positive performance as well. With Messe Frankfurt Medien und Service GmbH and Accente Gastronomie Service GmbH, we are now generating sales in the region of €100 million.”

Outside Germany, Messe Frankfurt gears its core business closely to its key regions and partnerships.

With more than 30 events making their debut, Messe Frankfurt has a growing global presence. The company had over 2,500 active employees on its books worldwide in the reporting year.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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* Preliminary figures for 2018