Messe München presents 2014 balance sheet
• In the black for the fifth year in a row
• Surplus of some 100 million euros for shareholders since 2010
The Messe München International balance sheet for 2014 confirms that the company is in very good shape: It finished 2014 with a surplus of 30.4 million euros and was in the black for the fifth year in a row. As a result, the company once again managed to do without any subsidies from its shareholders. Messe München is consistently pursuing four goals: to improve efficiency in the company, above-average growth at its home venues and especially in other countries, constantly improving customer service and being at the forefront of innovations in the age of digitalization.
"We have significantly exceeded our objectives for 2014 and concluded the year far ahead of projections," said Chairman/CEO Klaus Dittrich, summarizing the company's positive results. "That puts us significantly closer to our strategic objective of being financially independent of our two main shareholders as of 2016. And we will achieve that goal!"
With group sales of 309.4 million euros (223.7 million euros of which was generated in Munich), Messe München generated a surplus of 30.4 million euros. Half of that goes to each of the two main shareholders—i.e. the State of Bavaria and the City of Munich—as interest on the shareholder loan to build the new trade-fair center.
The EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of Messe München GmbH was 68.8 million euros. Dittrich: "That makes us the most profitable trade-fair corporation in Germany."
Messe München originally calculated needing 31 million euros worth of subsidies for the period from 2010 to 2014. Instead, it generated a total surplus of 99.7 million euros during the same period. That amount was transferred to the two main shareholders in full as interest.
The events that the company organizes did better than the market average (base on statistics of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry AUMA). Exhibitors: Munich +3.9 (market average +1.5 percent), international exhibitors +7.5 percent (+5.2 percent), visitors +7.6 percent (+0.3 percent), rented space +3.8 percent (+ 0.3 percent).
"Messe München's event-related results were not only nine million euros more than projected, other key financial figures were also better than average despite the fact that it was just a normal trade-fair year," explains CFO Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer: "The Internationales Congress Center München was so successful that it surpassed the ten-million-euro mark for the first time ever." The ICM is one of the top ten convention venues in Europe. "This is all a tremendous achievement on the part of all Messe München employees and partners," said Dittrich.
Messe München will have paid back its own loan for building the new trade-fair center in 2018: That comes to 680 million euros since 1998. Payments on interest and principal have amounted to some 50 million euros per year that will then be freed up.
Given its solid financial base, Messe München is building two new halls with a total of 20,000 square meters of space as well as a small conference facility starting in the summer of 2016. Total cost: 105.8 million euros, which the company will finance using its own resources. Construction will take two years. "We need these halls to satisfy additional demand because four of our trade fairs are booked to capacity," explains Dittrich. "This will allow us to further improve service for our exhibitors and visitors and to position ourselves even better alongside the tough international competition." Munich will then have 18 halls with some 200,000 square meters of exhibition space and some 400,000 square meters of outdoor space.
International position stronger than ever
From a strategic point of view, Messe München further strengthened its international position in 2014. The company founded a new trade fair for earthquake safety in Istanbul known as Seismic Safety and established a new trade fair for environmental technologies in Ankara called IFAT Eurasia. In 2014, it celebrated the premiere of food & drink technology Africa in Johannesburg, organized another edition of BAU Congress China and purchased India Lab Expo, a leading trade fair for analysis, laboratory technology and biotechnology in India. Despite the ailing economy in China, bauma China set a new record in the number of exhibitors in November. Due to strong demand, Messe München is organizing a second ISPO in Shanghai (in addition to Beijing). 400 brands will be represented at the premiere in July. The second BAUMA CONEXPO AFRICA takes place in Johannesburg in September.
We measure ourselves against the best
Based on these results, when it comes to sales Messe München is in third place among trade-fair organizers in Germany and in the top ten worldwide. Klaus Dittrich: "The company is in very good shape. We have highly motivated employees—and we measure ourselves against the best."