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Koelnmesse annual press conference: "Solid success given the financial crisis"

In 2009 revenues were higher and more events were organized than ever before

Revenues of ¤229 million - Good trade fair-specific result: ¤30 million - Net loss lower than expected: ¤19.9 million - 78 events - Focus on five areas of activity - Annual structural cost-reduction measures of ¤10 million

At ¤229 million, revenues in 2009 were the highest in Koelnmesse's history, and with 78 trade fairs and exhibitions, more events were organized than ever before. A total of 35,000 exhibiting companies and more than 1.6 million visitors participated in these events. At the presentation of the 2009 Annual Report, Jürgen Roters, Mayor of Cologne and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Koelnmesse, and Gerald Böse, the company's Chief Executive Officer, said the numbers indicate "solid success, especially given the strong negative impact the global financial and economic crisis has had on some sectors."

In 2009 Koelnmesse achieved a positive trade fair-specific result of around ¤30 million. At ¤19.9 million, the loss recorded was lower than expected. According to Böse, structural cost-reduction measures - none of which were related to any of the company's events - now amount to ¤10 million per year. Böse added that the trade fair business in Cologne and abroad developed in a better manner than was feared given the crisis. The Koelnmesse portfolio proved to be very robust, with several trade fairs bucking the general trend and posting growth. "We would clearly be in the black if it weren't for the huge rental costs associated with the exhibition center," Böse emphasized.

Mayor Roters assured Koelnmesse that it has the full support of the Supervisory Board and the shareholders. As an example he cited the cash-pooling agreement between the company and the City of Cologne, with which the two partners pooled liquid funds for their mutual benefit. Roters hopes further relief will come as a result of the renegotiation of the contracts with the lessor of the Northern Halls, the "Grundstückgesellschaft Köln-Messe 15 - 18 GbR," as called for by the European Commission. Using the current market value as a basis, the City of Cologne intends to present a purchase offer and "expects the fund shareholders to take part responsibly in the specification of concrete terms for the resulting contractual agreement." Roters said that steps will be taken during future negotiations to ensure that trade fair operations will continue and that Koelnmesse's existing right to use the halls will remain in effect. The shareholders want strategic options for future development to be revised and evaluated by external consultants, the mayor reported.

The Executive Board and the employees are using a number of internal measures to improve Koelnmesse's results and secure its future. In addition to implementing the 2012plus efficiency program launched in 2008, they are working to save double-digit millions of euros per year while at the same time expanding event-related business. In 2011, for example, the Koelnmesse Service GmbH and Koelnmesse International GmbH subsidiaries will be integrated into the Group, and several foreign subsidiaries will be turned into independent representative offices. The number of managing directors has been reduced to three, and the business units are being consolidated. Around 80 positions are to be eliminated, whereby there are to be no layoffs due to business reasons.

Operative focus on five areas of activity -
New online platform "BusinessEnergizer 365" usable year-round
Böse named five areas of activity on which Koelnmesse will focus its operations: expansion of existing business, development and acquisition of new events, international business, promotion of the business location, and the development of various options aimed at securing future success.

Active portfolio management, continual further development of the events, and new concepts and services are necessary if Koelnmesse is to successfully safeguard established theme areas. The comeback of kitchens - as part of LivingKitchen®, which starting in 2011 will take place every two years, in parallel to the international furnishings fair imm cologne - is one example. Complementing the features Koelnmesse already offers to its customers is the new online platform "BusinessEnergizer 365," which is unique in the trade fair industry. This tool brings together purchasers and other interested parties with appropriate suppliers, enabling them to do business beyond the confines of the trade fair throughout the year.

With the successful premiere of gamescom - the world's leading trade fair for interactive games and entertainment - and dmexco, the top fair for digital marketing, Cologne has become Europe's Number 1 location for media trade fairs. Koelnmesse wants to continue to expand this theme portfolio, which currently includes nine events. In 2010 the company supported the premiere of the C'n'B - CREATIVE BUSINESS CONVENTION during c/o pop.

With 18 new events in the years 2010 and 2011 - nine in Cologne and nine abroad - Koelnmesse is further strengthening its position as the world's most innovative trade fair organizer. The trade fairs and exhibitions are platforms for a wide range of sectors and markets in areas such as medicine, electrical mobility, and new media, for example. The company is also successfully addressing event and live-marketing agencies more specifically with the new business area "Special Events." With its new business activities, Koelnmesse is laying a promising foundation for future growth.

Profitable growth is also the objective behind Koelnmesse's portfolio of events abroad, which not only comprises 35 trade fairs and exhibitions, but is also already generating profit for the company. Its focus here is on the booming regions of the world market, especially China, India, and Southeast Asia. Several of the events it organizes are the leading trade fairs in their respective regions, for example in the hardware, dental medicine and nutrition sectors. Koelnmesse's successful commitment to the German economy at World's Fairs over more than 25 years further enhances the company's reputation worldwide. Koelnmesse is currently operating the largest German pavilion in Shanghai, at the biggest EXPO of all time.

Promoting its home location is the most important regional task of Koelnmesse as a tool for boosting business. Every year, in Cologne alone, the trade fair participants generate revenues in excess of one billion euros. The trade fair business safeguards 11,000 full-time jobs in the city. Half of the overnight guests in Cologne are trade fair and congress participants. The company's events attract around 45,000 exhibitors and more than 2.5 million visitors to the region, many of them high-level decision makers from Germany and abroad. In order to ensure that the trade fair city of Cologne presents itself to these potential investors with one voice, the mayor, Jürgen Roters, and Koelnmesse have established the "Trade fair city of Cologne," initiative. Many institutions are participating and helping to bring the key themes of Cologne's public trade fairs into the city.

2010 will see more Koelnmesse events than ever beforeThe current fiscal year will be a weak year for Koelnmesse due to the trade fair cycle, which this year is characterized by many smaller trade fairs and exhibitions. At 81 trade fairs, their number exceeds the figure for 2009. Alongside 27 Koelnmesse events and 21 shows of outside organizers in Cologne, the schedule includes 33 trade fairs abroad.

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