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Messe Frankfurt generates €733 million in sales

3 Dec 2019

Messe Frankfurt has continued its profitable growth course in financial year 2019, its key performance indicators remaining at a consistently high level. The company is expecting sales to be in the region of €733 million. Approximately 99,000 exhibitors and almost five million visitors attended the 400-plus events held under the Messe Frankfurt umbrella during the year. The construction of the new Hall 5 and the development of a hotel and office high-rise building and new South Entrance are set to further cement the status of the Frankfurt exhibition grounds as one of the most state-of-the-art inner-city exhibition venues anywhere in the world.

Mayor Peter Feldmann, Chairman of the Messe Frankfurt Supervisory Board, was delighted at these results: “Messe Frankfurt is not only the world’s largest trade fair organiser with its own exhibition grounds but is also the only publicly owned German trade fair company that has supported itself for years. Messe Frankfurt’s excellent strategic orientation and sustainable development are a strong driving force creating synergies for business and society alike. By setting a new sales record at its Frankfurt base in 2019, Messe Frankfurt is once again safeguarding high indirect returns for its city, region and country. Every year, events at Messe Frankfurt generate purchasing power of €3.6 billion in Germany, securing an estimated 18,500 jobs in Frankfurt alone.”

Thanks to its stable growth, Messe Frankfurt is able to expand its international market shares on an ongoing basis. As Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt, explained at the presentation of the provisional figures for 2019: “We have grown within our industry sectors and disciplines; we are growing organically and through acquisitions.” Since 2010, the company has acquired 46 events, which have been integrated into its portfolio and further developed with great success. Wolfgang Marzin: “We are in the enviable position of being able to finance these acquisitions from our own resources.” In financial year 2019, a total of 155 trade fairs and exhibitions were held worldwide – more than ever before – while the strong operating business has yielded record financial figures. With sales in the region of €733 million, Messe Frankfurt is set to outperform its previous record year 2018 by two percent or €15 million. Annual net income increased to €54 million. In line with the healthy operating performance, the figure for EBITDA has increased to around €134 million. Wolfgang Marzin: “Our success and ongoing growth are also due in no small part to the fact that we have integrated key themes such as sustainability (in many respects), energy efficiency and mobility into our portfolio as well as actively implementing them in our capacity as exhibition venue operators.”

As Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, stressed: “The high international component and outstanding quality of our visitors are both firm indications of the superior nature of our brands.” Approximately 99,000 exhibitors and almost five million visitors attended the 400-plus events. The strong performance was rounded off by the high international component at the Group’s own events held at its Frankfurt base. On average, more than 75 percent of exhibitors came from outside Germany, while international visitors accounted for just under 57 percent of the total visitor count. Messe Frankfurt is continuing to expand around the world in its industry sectors and key regions. The company is also stepping up its activities in Africa, including its first ever project in Morocco in the field of security technology – ASEC supported by Intersec – which will be taking place in Rabat in 2020. There are currently a total of 23 new events lined up for 2019/2020 in the company’s portfolio.

With regard to operating business, Detlef Braun explained: “By interacting extensively with our industry sectors, we are in a position to identify early on those key trends that companies will want to – or will have to – address sooner or later. By networking content expertise, we are constantly improving ordering options and the range of information available to our customers.” As of 2020, Messe Frankfurt will be working together with the United Nations Office for Partnerships as part of its Texpertise Network. Detlef Braun: “We are supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals together with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships. These targets will be presented gradually at our 58 textile events worldwide, featuring more than 22,000 companies.”

In financial year 2019, the Frankfurt exhibition grounds served as the venue for some 250 guest events, including high-calibre medical and scientific congresses. As Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt, noted: “In June 2020, we will be playing host to the 25th EHA Annual Congress, with more than 12,000 participants, and to the European Congress of Rheumatology 2020, with approximately 15,000 participants.”

Messe Frankfurt is currently tackling the final milestones in the master plan for its exhibition grounds. Wolfgang Marzin: “Over the last three decades, the company has – from a real estate perspective – made optimum use of its location on the outskirts of the city centre. Through its own financial resources, it succeeded in creating significant added value for the city.” This further solidifies the reputation of the Frankfurt exhibition grounds as a location of the very highest quality. The new Hall 5 is scheduled for completion by mid-2023. As part of a joint development project with Gustav Zech Stiftung, a 33-storey hotel and office high-rise building is to be constructed on Europaallee by the year 2024, together with the new South Entrance to the exhibition grounds.

The Group expects 2020 to be a financial year with a strong event calendar, with Group performance indicators remaining at the same consistently high level.

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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 more than 2,600* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of some €733* million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our 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. Headquartered 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 2019