Strong performance through effective management: Messe Düsseldorf can look back to a robust financial year 2018
Trade Fair Rallye 2019/2020 to start in autumn: 35,000 exhibitors welcomed within ten months
Group reaches EUR 294m in revenue and EUR 24m in net profit after tax. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH records EUR 260m in revenue, resulting in EUR 15m net profit after tax for the year. Significant increase in revenue and profit expected for 2019, due to large number of trade fair.
Although 2018 was a relatively quiet year in the trade fair cycle, the Messe Düsseldorf Group performed very well, due to its efficient management, and therefore recorded EUR 294m in revenue (previous year: EUR 367m). Profit after tax was EUR 24m (previous year: EUR 55m). As a result, the return on sales was solid at 8.3% (previous year: 15%). The revenue of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH was EUR 260m (previous year: EUR 340m), i.e. 4% higher than planned. The GmbH's post-tax net profit was EUR 15m (previous year: EUR 57m), with a return on sales of 5.9% (previous year: 16.8%). The shareholders at the General Meeting decided today to pay out a dividend of EUR 14,1m.
Werner M. Dornscheidt, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, is pleased with the past financial year, which he sums up with the words: “Under its usual trade fair cycles, where some events are only held at four-year intervals, the reporting year featured a smaller number of events, and yet they were highly successful. Nearly all leading global trade fairs in Düsseldorf recorded large numbers of exhibitors and visitors.” The overall result of the year was impacted not only by the relatively low number of events in the trade fair cycle, but also by substantial investments in improving the exhibition centre, international expansion, digital transformation and a suitable staffing level for the intensive trade fair years 2019 and 2020.
“So we got off to excellent start in 2019 with its large number of events, including above all K, the world’s biggest trade fair for plastics and rubber. In particular, we had a successful kick-off with two anniversary trade fairs in the first quarter of this year. Both the 50th boot Düsseldorf and the 25th ProWein delivered record figures in terms of exhibitors and visitors,” Dornscheidt continues. In all, 21 proprietary events have been scheduled in Düsseldorf between August 2019 and June 2020: “Within 10 months, our proprietary events alone will be welcoming around 1.6m visitors and 35,000 exhibitors, occupying over 1.3m square metres. It’s a major challenge which we will be happy to meet,” says Dornscheidt, who is very pleased about this development.
In the current trade fair year, 2019, Messe Düsseldorf is expecting to see its revenue grow to around EUR 357m. The revenue of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH will increase to about EUR 326m, and its net profit after tax to around EUR 27m.
Growth in existing and new events
In total, in 2018, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH organised 27 events at its own exhibition centre on the River Rhine (previous year: 31), including 16 proprietary and 11 partnership/guest events. The number of exhibitors at proprietary events rose by 3.4% to 22,862 (previous events: 22,112), while the number of visitors went up by 2.6% to 1,009,394 (previous events: 984,048). “We are continually developing our leading global trade fairs and are keeping closely in touch with the relevant industries. Their positive development shows that we are on the right track,” says Dornscheidt. Our trade fair start-ups are meeting with good responses among customers – these are special trade fairs which continually cater for new trends. The PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, for example, was held for the third time this year and has continued to grow. tasc, the world’s first trade fair in automotive glass, smart repair and car detailing, is also set to achieve growth. As it enters its second edition in October, it will benefit from more hall space.” Alongside the ongoing development of its portfolio, Messe Düsseldorf focuses on three major strategic objectives to ensure long-term success: internationalisation, modernisation of the exhibition centre and digital transformation.
Cyclical fluctuations cushioned by internationalisation
Having opened its new international office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 1 January 2019, Messe Düsseldorf now has 77 such offices – including seven international subsidiaries – in 141 countries. “We are continuing to expand our international activities for a number of reasons,” says Dornscheidt. “Firstly, we want to meet the demands of the market in an increasingly globalised economy. Secondly, we want to attract more international exhibitors and visitors to our leading global trade fairs here at home in Düsseldorf. And thirdly, we're aiming to improve our ability to cushion cyclical fluctuations through our robust international business. The areas where we recorded growth in 2018 were China and, in particular, the growing Indian market.” In Japan and China Messe Düsseldorf has set the course for the company’s future with new General Managers in both countries: Since 1 April 2019 Messe Düsseldorf Japan Ltd. has been headed by Akiko Ohara, who now handles the agency business for the Düsseldorf head office, as well as the further development of both existing and new events and also the increase in internationalisation and networking in the market through partnerships and joint ventures. At the same time, Marius Berlemann took over as General Manager of Messe Düsseldorf Shanghai Co. Ltd., where he now manages the full range of projects for Messe Düsseldorf in China. Berlemann will continue to move forward in developing Messe Düsseldorf’s new business and the growth of its portfolios in China. At the moment the company is running 16 trade fairs in the country. After Russia, China is Messe Düsseldorf’s most lucrative international market. Of the EUR 71.4 million achieved by the Group internationally in 2018, EUR 31.2 million was made by Russia, EUR 20.6 million by China, EUR 5.9 million by Singapore and EUR 4.1 million by the United States.
Trade fairs are stimulants for growth markets
In all, the Messe Düsseldorf Group held 51 proprietary and joint events outside Germany (previous year: 44 events). The group is particularly expanding its international business in dynamic future markets with major potential for growth, especially in Africa, South America and the Middle East. This is under the umbrella of Düsseldorf’s four major leading global trade fairs – interpack (Processing & Packaging), MEDICA (Health & Medical Technologies), K (Plastics & Rubber) and wire & Tube (Metals & Flow Technologies). “In these markets there is a major need for investments in industry as well as in the infrastructure,” Dornscheidt explains. “Our international trade fairs create local platforms where the players of different industries can meet and work together to drive the development of their economies. Also, the trade fairs attract exhibitors and visitors to Düsseldorf itself, indirectly creating jobs, generating sales and making the region more widely known as a business location.”
In June Messe Düsseldorf will be holding FAMDENT in Mumbai for the first time. This is one of India’s leading specialist events in dentistry and is a new part of the company’s global portfolio Health and Medical Technologies (MEDICAlliance). In October this will be followed by Pack Print Plas (PPP) Phillipines in Manila, part of the Print Technologies portfolio in the wake of the leading world trade fair drupa. Next, December will see pacprocess Middle East Africa (MEA) in Cairo, the latest member of the global portfolio Processing & Packaging (interpack alliance). The Egyptian government is keen to see carefully planned, sustainable trade fair models that will bring investors to their country and therefore help to develop Egypt’s markets. The new event will be supported by a supervisory board comprising representatives of Egyptian governmental organisations together with international companies from the food, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries: Thanks to this close collaboration with government and industry, the new event will have a great deal of support,” Werner M. Dornscheidt explains. pacprocess MEA is one of eight new international trade fairs taking place in 2018 and 2019.
Benefits of internationalisation for the home base
The positive impact of internationalisation on Düsseldorf as a trade fair venue confirms the company’s globalisation strategy. The proportion of international guests has been rising for many years now. In 2018 proprietary events in Düsseldorf attracted 74% international exhibitors (previous events: 72%) and 31% international visitors (previous events: 29%). “Our machinery, plants and equipment events,” Dornscheidt emphasises, “drew as many as 77% international exhibitors and nearly 70% international visitors. These are top figures for German industrial goods trade fairs.” The high level of internationalism among exhibitors was particularly in evidence at ProWein (86%), MEDICA (82%) and VALVE WORLD EXPO (81%). The highest proportions of international visitors were recorded by MEDICA and VALVE WORLD EXPO (each 73%), closely followed by glasstec (72%).
The high international prestige of the leading global trade fairs in Düsseldorf is also paying off for Düsseldorf as a region. According to a study by the Munich based ifo Institute, Düsseldorf’s trade fairs, conventions and other events are generating average additional tax revenues of EUR 36.3m per year. Moreover, they have led to greater purchasing power, generating EUR 1.66 billion, as well as 16,664 jobs in the region, thanks to Düsseldorf’s trade fairs, conventions and other events.
Modernising the exhibition centre: New Southern Section / Hall 1 improve service for customers
To stay competitive and attractive for the customers of the future, Messe Düsseldorf is keeping its exhibition space and premises abreast of the times, continually improving its technology, convenience, amenities and architecture. At the end of 2019 we will be opening our Hall 1 with our partner event expopharm. Hall 1 will be 12,027 sqm in size, with space for up to 10,000 people. In addition, the first floor will have six glass-enclosed meeting rooms, each with 200 sqm and holding 198 people. One of the new meeting rooms, which will protrude into the foyer of the new South Entrance, will provide 2,112 sqm of event space. In front of the South Entrance, 20 metres high, there will be a 7,800 sqm canopy over a plaza with taxi ranks, public transport connections and an entrance to the new underground car park. The building project also includes a major facelift and a larger audience capacity for the Congress Center Düsseldorf (CCD), which will be directly accessible from Hall 1. The New Southern Section forms part of the Messe Düsseldorf 2030 Masterplan which, since the year 2000, has so far included Halls 6, 7a, 8a and 8b, the new North Entrance and the complete modernisation of seven halls. To quote Dornscheidt: “We reckon we’ll be investing EUR 720m in development projects over the next 12 to 15 years. The details will be decided by the relevant supervisory boards.”
Digital transformation as a mindset and an investment in the future
Messe Düsseldorf is one of the world’s most important platform for showcasing digital innovations in a range of industries. “Seeing that industry and society are going through a major transformation, it is essential that the global players of the industries get together, present their innovations, discuss recent trends and jointly initiate new developments. We can provide them with the best digital infrastructure and services,” says Dornscheidt.
The latest developments include a completely new online ordering system, modelled on a state of the art online shop, a geodata-based site map and a new digital visitor information system with wayfinding functions. The interactive site map is based on the geodata of the open-source project Open Street Map, which places Messe Düsseldorf into a global mapping context. This makes it possible, for instance, to show exactly where each exhibitor has their stand and to call up their profiles. Combined with the new D:VIS info pillars (38 interactive info columns with touchscreens), wayfinding is now an option everywhere in the exhibition centre, showing how to walk from a given pillar to the relevant exhibitor. The interactive site map can be used on all mobile devices and forms part of all our trade fair apps. At the beginning of this year we started to relaunch each of these apps, one after the other. The new design with its simpler navigation structure and user friendliness was first presented to visitors at EuroCIS in February 2019.
But Messe Düsseldorf is also moving ahead in the digitisation of the company itself and its trade fair format. Its organisation, IT and corporate processes are being adjusted to improve agile working. Existing business models are to be increasingly integrated with digital media, and, in the long term, new business models are to be developed.
With a revenue of around EUR 294m in 2018, the Messe Düsseldorf Group has maintained its position as one of Germany’s most successful trade fair companies. 26,800 exhibitors presented their products to 1.14m trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf last year. Compared with previous events, this was an increase in the numbers of both exhibitors and visitors. The Düsseldorf exhibition centre hosts around 50 trade fairs in five sectors of expertise: machinery, plants and equipment; the retail trade, trades and services; medicine and healthcare; lifestyle and beauty; and leisure. The trade fairs include 22 proprietary number-one trade fairs, as well as, currently, 15 robust partner and guest events. Also, its subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress held around 2,200 conventions, corporate events, conferences and meetings in 2018, attracting around 1.6m delegates in all. In addition, the Messe Düsseldorf Group organises 70 proprietary events, joint events and contracted events in other countries and is one of the leading export platforms in the world. The international attendance is particularly high with the capital goods trade fairs of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. In 2018, Messe Düsseldorf's proprietary events in machinery, plants and equipment attracted approx. 77% international exhibitors and 70% trade visitors from other countries. In all, Düsseldorf trade fairs were attended by customers from about 180 countries. The group runs a global network of 77 international offices for 141 countries, including 7 international subsidiaries.