27.01.16

New dimensions for Koelnmesse: Record turnover, record profit, record trade fairs

Turnover exceeds ¤315 million | Profit tops ¤30 million

For Koelnmesse, 2015 was by far the most successful year in its corporate history. The past year once again clearly broke the previous records that were set in 2013. "In 2015 we reached new dimensions in terms of turnover, profit and the size of individual events," said Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse concerning the interim balance sheet for the past business year.

Koelnmesse expects to post turnover of more than ¤315 million for 2015 - the highest in its history. That's ¤35 million more than its previous record (2013: ¤280 million). The Koelnmesse Group has thus exceeded its own ambitious plans by more than ¤10 million. Moreover, Koelnmesse has posted record profits for 2015, amounting to more than ¤30 million. This amount exceeds the target value by more than ¤10 million and is almost twice as high as the previous profit record, which was set in 2013 (¤17 million). Even though 2016 will be a financially weaker year on account of the cyclical event calendar, in the five years from 2015 to 2019 Koelnmesse expects to post total profits amounting to approximately ¤70 million. Starting in 2017, the Group expects its finances to be in the black during each year of its five-year midterm plan.

The profits will flow in their entirety into the Group's comprehensive Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme, the further development of its events in Germany and abroad, and the digitisation of the exhibition grounds and the entire range of its products and services. A study conducted in 2015 by the ifo Institute - the second of its kind - shows how important Koelnmesse's business activities are for Cologne, for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and for Germany as a whole. Cologne's trade fair business safeguards 18,500 jobs in Germany, more than 11,000 of which are in Cologne. Every year, it also generates turnover of more than ¤2 billion nationwide, ¤1.11 billion of which is earned in Cologne.

Koelnmesse events earn healthy profits
Koelnmesse's business with its own events and guest events is flourishing. Turnover from the Group's own events has grown considerably. On average, the turnover of individual trade fairs has increased by almost eight per cent compared to the respective previous events. Individual trade fairs, including Anuga FoodTec and interzum, have even posted double-digit growth rates for their turnover.

In 2015 many trade fairs reported increases in their figures for exhibitors, visitors and total stand area. For example, in 2015 the average increase of exhibiting companies in Koelnmesse's overall event portfolio was about five per cent compared to the respective previous events. Here too, individual trade fairs stand out. For example, outstanding increases of exhibiting companies were posted by aquanale (+9%), Kind + Jugend (+12%), Anuga FoodTec (+13%) and LivingKitchen® (+16%). High increases in visitor numbers were posted by ISM (+6%), interzum (+11%), IDS (+11%) and dmexco (+48%). The growth rates for total stand area were especially high for gamescom (+9%), interzum (+11%), h+h cologne (+13%) and dmexco (+13%). Koelnmesse's guest event business also made a major contribution to its record year, and thus to the overall development of the Group. In 2015, the turnover of the Group's wholly owned subsidiary Koelnmesse Ausstellungen GmbH was over ¤14 million - an amount that was much higher than planned.

Koelnmesse also reached new dimensions with the overall programme of its approximately 80 events in Germany and abroad, independent of the trade fair year. These events are attended by almost 50,000 exhibiting companies from 123 countries and about three million visitors from 209 countries. Almost 70 per cent of the exhibitors and more than 40 per cent of the visitors come from outside Germany.

Koelnmesse is intensifying its focus on South America
The internationalisation strategy that was launched in 2011 is continuing to bear fruit. The proportion of turnover generated by Koelnmesse's business abroad is growing. In addition, the turnover of the Group's subsidiaries abroad exceeded its targets in 2015. In 2016, Koelnmesse will demonstrate its global expertise in the area of food at ten of the 27 events it will stage abroad. The Group is the leading global organiser of trade fairs for the food and beverage sector and related industries.

In addition to its previous target regions, Koelnmesse is now strongly expanding its operations in other regions, especially South America. These measures include the founding of its new subsidiary in Brasil at the end of 2014 and its partnership with the Colombian trade fair company Corporación de Ferias y Exposiciones S.A. (Corferias). Together with this partner, Koelnmesse is staging the International Food Fair Alimentec and the packaging technology trade fair Andina-Pack. Koelnmesse has been organising the food technology fair ANUTEC Brazil in Curitiba since 2014. Another event, the congress trade fair UrbanTec Brasil, was held for the first time in Rio de Janeiro at the end of September 2015. Since the acquisition of the Brasilian trade fair organiser Interfeiras Eventos in the summer of 2015, the children's fashion fair FIT 0/16 in São Paulo has also been part of Koelnmesse's trade fair portfolio. In June 2016 Koelnmesse plans to hold a new trade fair in the children's outfitting sector: Pueri Expo. Other new events in Cologne's portfolio of trade fairs abroad include ANUFOOD Eurasia in Istanbul, Turkey (April 2015), the Dairy Industry Conference in Karnal/Haryana, India (February 2016) and ProFood Tech in Chicago, USA (April 2017).

The Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme is moving ahead
In 2015 the Group made good progress with the measures that are part of its Koelnmesse 3.0 programme. This is the biggest investment programme in the Group's history, with a volume of more than ¤600 million. Its goal is to enable Cologne to offer the most attractive city-centre exhibition grounds in the world from 2030 on. Koelnmesse is making its urban trade fair complex, which is located in the heart of Europe, fit for the stringent requirements of the trade fair business of tomorrow in terms of efficiency, flexibility, attractiveness and exhibition venue technology.

In 2015 the focus was, among other things, on the planning of a new multi-storey car park that will offer more than 3,200 parking spaces and will be completed in mid-2017. Koelnmesse also conducted high-level calls for tender in order to find renowned architectural firms that can provide an overall concept for the southern section of the exhibition grounds, the design of the interior architecture and the new design of the multi-storey car park. After a careful examination of the practicability and financial feasibility of the designs on the short list, a panel of experts will decide in March 2016 which architectural office will be responsible for providing the Southern section of the exhibition grounds with a new look. The two finalists are Ingenhoven architects from Düsseldorf and JSWD Architekten from Cologne. In 2015 the programme also focused on a new combined heat and power station, the conversion to district heating and renovation measures carried out on the exhibition grounds. The measures included roof replacement and initial measures to renovate the water system.

The new construction that is planned for the years ahead includes Hall 1plus, which will be available for use at the end of 2018, and the CONFEX® Hall, with a planned completion date in 2021. It will be possible to use the CONFEX® Hall flexibly as a trade fair hall, a conference venue and a space for corporate events. The planning for a new central entrance terminal to the Southern Halls, including the modernisation of the Congress Centres West and East, will begin in 2017. The opening of these facilities is planned for 2024.

Designing a new digital strategy
Koelnmesse's planning comprises more than the physical plant. Digitisation is another important aspect of Koelnmesse 3.0, the development of the Group's trade fairs, and Koelnmesse's overall corporate strategy. In 2015 the Group's activities included the development of concepts for digital equipment, options for digital marketing, digital sales, new digital services, new digital communication media and new ideas for digital business models.

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New dimensions for Koelnmesse: Record turnover, record profit, record trade fairs

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