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Messe Düsseldorf Closes 2017 Business Year Above Budget
High return on sales due to strong products and further improved efficiency
In the 2017 financial year, the revenue of the Messe Düsseldorf Group was EUR 367 million (EUR 443 million in 2016) and thus achieved a net income of EUR 37.2 million (2016: EUR 59 million) after tax. “Our 15% return on sales underlines our position as one of the most profitable trade fair companies with their own premises in Europe,” commented Werner M. Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.
He is also pleased with the Group’s international business, which achieved some EUR 70 million in revenue outside Germany. Russia (EUR 33.3 million) and China (EUR 14.8 million) continued to be the most lucrative sales markets. “Thanks to the rigorous strategic expansion of our global portfolio under the umbrella of Düsseldorf’s leading global trade fairs, we’ve increased the international share of our net revenue from 16.5% in 2016 to just over 19% in 2017. Over the next few years we will steadily increase our international sales to 25%,” said Werner M. Dornscheidt.
Based on the positive 2017 financial year results presented by Werner M. Dornscheidt to the Supervisory Board and shareholders, the committees decided to pay a dividend of EUR 24 million.
Following a highly successful year in 2016, with its number one events drupa and K (EUR 407 million), 2017 followed the usual cycle, with a lower revenue figure for Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. The annual revenue of about EUR 340 million in 2017 was around 13% higher than forecasted. According to Dornscheidt, this was mainly due to the positive developments of the company’s own events at its Düsseldorf home base, which recorded major increases in terms of net exhibit space rental and exhibitor and visitor numbers compared with previous events.
The company’s net income after tax was just over EUR 50 million (2016: EUR 71 million). A single special effect of EUR 4.5 million resulted from the sale of shares in the Igedo Company. The revenue share of international business, directly realized by the company in 2017, was about EUR 34 million (2016: EUR 32 million). Over 70% of this figure was achieved in Russia, India and China.
Global expansion warrants growth in revenue
Overall, the Messe Düsseldorf Group organized 44 own and joint events outside Germany. 66 own and joint events are planned for 2018. Especially in future markets with considerable growth potential, such as the Middle East and Africa, Messe Düsseldorf will step up its presence with five new international trade fairs this year. By internationalizing its business, the Group is aiming to achieve sustainable growth in its revenue without the fluctuations caused by the calendar of events. “Having a global presence is an indispensable investment for us,” explained Dornscheidt, “both for our customers’ benefit – who operate worldwide – and also to strengthen the number one events at our home base in Düsseldorf.” The positive feedback effects of Messe Düsseldorf’s international business are substantial for Düsseldorf as a trade fair venue. With an average 72% share of foreign exhibitors, the own events in Düsseldorf in 2017 showed again that they are unique among Germany’s industrial goods trade fairs.
Investment in the future: sustainable internationalization, digitization and optimization of the exhibition center
Messe Düsseldorf is continually investing in its exhibition center. By 2030, EUR 650 million will have been used for the complete modernization of the fairgrounds, which the company generates from its own funds. The core of this modernization is the redevelopment of the South Entrance and Hall 1, with a total investment of EUR 140 million. Completion is planned for the third quarter of 2019. Another major strategic target for the next few years is the digital transformation of the company and its events. Messe Düsseldorf is already operating its new Online Order System since 2017. Also, since spring 2018, the entire exhibition center is equipped with a Wi-FI system for internet access. In addition to developing digital platforms for bookings and visitor registrations, the focus will above all be on services providing an even better trade fair experience and expanding the use of digital media. This includes matchmaking tools, location-based information systems and the development of new business models in data-driven marketing.
Outlook for 2018: a weaker year due to the trade fair cycle
The Messe Düsseldorf’s trade fair cycle in 2018 is relatively weak and Werner M. Dornscheidt is expecting a Group revenue of around EUR 272 million. Nevertheless, he is positive about the development of the 2018 financial year so far: to date all own events have recorded increases in exhibition space, visitor and exhibitor figures. The level of internationality has also increased. “We see our trade fairs as innovation and information exchanges for global business and research. Also, the expansion of our global portfolio is driving our international activities. In this way we want to minimize any major ups and downs in our revenue development caused by the trade fair cycle, i.e. a lot of events one year and not very many in another year,” summarized Dornscheidt.
For information on visiting or exhibiting at any of Messe Düsseldorf’s worldwide trade fairs, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 781-5180; Fax: (312) 781-5188; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Visit www.mdna.com.
The Messe Düsseldorf Group
With a revenue of around EUR 367 million in 2017, the Messe Düsseldorf Group maintained its position as one of Germany's most successful trade fair companies. Over 29,000 exhibitors presented their products to 1.4 million trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf, Germany this year. In addition, conventions attracted over half a million visitors. About 50 trade fairs were held in Düsseldorf, including 23 number one events in five areas of expertise: machinery, plants and equipment, trade and services, medicine and healthcare, lifestyle and beauty, and also leisure. In addition, there were about 70 own, joint and contracted events outside Germany, demonstrating that the Messe Düsseldorf Group is a leading global platform for export. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH is the trade fair company with the highest level of internationality in capital goods exhibitions. In 2017 Messe Düsseldorf's own events in machinery, plants and equipment had approximately 74% international exhibitors and attracted 73% trade visitors from other countries. Overall, Düsseldorf trade fairs were attended by customers from about 180 countries. The Group runs a global network of sales offices in 139 countries (75 international representations) as well as competence centers in 8 countries.
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