Press release

Messe München returns to sound strength following heavy losses during two years of the pandemic: Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel anticipating a profitable result

December 8, 2022

  • Messe München expecting a clearly positive EBITDA in 2022
  • Positive results also expected in 2023 and 2024, albeit not on a par with 2022
  • Digital and sustainable solutions are the key competitive advantages of the next few years

Trade fair business increased significantly in the last three quarters of 2022. After making clear losses in the years 2020 and 2021, Messe München’s business was back on track for success with around 40 of its own events in Germany and abroad as well as some 90 guest events. The visitor and exhibitor numbers at the current trade fairs are still below the record levels seen in pre-COVID times, but Messe München’s visitor level is nevertheless at approximately three-quarters, putting it above the German industry average. The two CEOs Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel, who have been at the helm at Messe München since July 1, 2022, are therefore expecting 2022 to come to a positive conclusion.

Messe München proved to perform especially well with capital goods and technology fairs in 2022, both of which enjoyed a high level of internationality. The co-CEOs’ initial stocktake is in line with this:

“We are delighted that fairs in the areas of capital goods and new technologies have made such a strong return and have scored in particular in terms of internationality. At the same time, we have impressively seen that in-person fairs, in some cases with complementary digital offerings, are one of the most important tools in the sales and marketing mix for these industries. This serves as an excellent basis for the years to come and confirms that we are on the right track with our focus on organic growth.”

Based on current projections (as of November 2022), the two CEOs Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel are forecasting sales of over EUR 400 million (2021: EUR 127.2 million) and EBITDA of over EUR 100 million. In comparison, Messe München GmbH’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) totaled EUR –33.0 million in 2021. This incredibly strong result is also attributable to the one-off effect of two events (drinktec, LASER World of PHOTONICS) having been successfully postponed from the COVID year 2021 and held in 2022.

In spite of this positive summary of the 2022 trade fair year, the co-CEOs warn against being overly euphoric: “2023 and 2024 will be intensive trade fair years, too, but will not be able to match the 2022 result.” This is due to far-reaching economic activity limitations like COVID repercussions, supply chain issues, the lack of energy security, and above all the trade fair calendar in the next two years. Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer and Stefan Rummel therefore emphasize the following: “This makes our focus on organic growth and our aim of concluding future fiscal years with a positive EBITDA, too, all the more important. As well as further developing our own-brand portfolio, this will include continuing to attract conventional guest event business like guest trade fairs and conferences.”

One example of organic growth in the area of own brands was the first World of QUANTUM, which offered the international quantum community its own platform for the first time in 2022 and was held alongside LASER World of PHOTONICS in April of this year. Its premiere was so well received that the organizers are planning its continuation in 2023 as part of another premiere. From 2023, LASER World of PHOTONICS will take place alongside automatica.

Digitalization and sustainability are key competitive advantages

“While we will not get back to pre-COVID levels in the next few years, 2022 did show us that we have the right trade fairs in our portfolio,” say the two Messe München CEOs. The co-CEOs therefore intend to further consolidate the solid foundations for future business in spite of the challenging times with organic growth in the company’s core business and by focusing on strengthening international involvement.

There are two trends that are crucial to the future competitiveness which the company is seeking to achieve. Firstly, data and digitalization will be orientated toward the value chain and closely to the core business to speed up processes. For example, BAU Insights will be launched next year as the first personalized and interactive information platform for the construction industry, thereby extending the physical BAU fair to 365 days a year.

“With BAU Insights, we are bringing trade fairs to life, creating the ideal conditions for encounters and dialogue at the fairs, and offering our customers the opportunity to present their products and services to BAU visitors, in particular architects, throughout the year, too. As such, we are essentially extending BAU to 365 days a year,” says Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, explaining this example of Messe München’s future digital approach.

The second trend is the topic of sustainability, which Messe München has been tracking for a number of years already and which has since become one of the key pillars of strategic general orientation. As part of the Messe München sustainability strategy, the company and its exhibitors and visitors will be pursuing a path to a sustainable future in the next few years, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. This year, for example, the exhibitors were given the opportunity to have their trade fair appearance’s carbon footprint measured for the first time with the GoGreen audit and, if desired, then also offset it.

Stefan Rummel explains Messe München’s sustainability strategy:
“The topic of sustainability will be more systematically expedited in the next few years. Alongside a number of individual measures, the top priorities will include in particular the topics of waste disposal and the energy mix. We are heading in the direction of a circular economy and carbon neutrality. We currently find ourselves at the beginning of a broad-based transformation program as acting sustainably will indisputably be a key competitive factor in the trade fair sector, too.”

Outlook for the 2023 event year

Messe München once again has a large number of trade fairs lined up for 2023—13 events in Germany and 40 abroad as well as 91 guest events and conferences. The trade fair calendar will kick off with, Bavaria’s biggest travel and leisure fair, in February 2023.

After a four-year hiatus, BAU, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials, and systems, will be back as an in-person event in April. The event will occupy all 18 halls as well as the ICM including Hall B0. BAU will focus on the topics of the challenge of climate change, digital transformation, homes of the future, and resources and recycling. A good six months before its doors open in May, things are looking extremely good for transport logistic – the leading international trade fair for logistics, mobility, IT, and supply chain management expects to fill ten halls again and will cover an exhibition area totaling around 110,000 square meters. A premiere is scheduled for June 27 to 30 when automatica is due to be hosted alongside LASER World of PHOTONICS for the first time, the two events thereafter being held simultaneously and under one roof every two years. This will bring the two future fields of quantum technology and artificial intelligence together. In July, digitalBAU, the trade fair for digital solutions in the construction industry, will be held in Munich as a conference for the first time, with an exhibition attached.

The second edition of the leading mobility platform IAA MOBILITY will be held in Munich in September 2023. Our own events in 2023 will be rounded off by EXPO REAL, productronica and ISPO Munich.

Outside of Germany, Messe München customers can look forward among other things to bauma CONEXPO INDIA next year, which will bring the global market leaders and India’s construction machinery industry together in Delhi for four days. In addition, MMI Asia will host analytica Vietnam and ASEAN Ceramics (Vietnam) itself for the first time. transport logistic Southeast Asia will likewise be held for the first time in 2023, in Singapore. And Messe München will resume its program in South Africa for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with air Cargo Africa, IFAT Africa, and analytica Lab Africa.

Top-class guest events will be held again in 2023, too. The well-established standing in the medical industry in particular demonstrates the importance of the locations of Messe München for customers and events from all over the world.

The first of these will be TrendSet, the international trade fair for interiors, inspiration, and lifestyle, from January 7 to 9, 2023, which will occupy six halls and will give trade visitors the opportunity to seek inspiration. The congress of the German Society of Surgery (DGCH) will take place in April, while in June the world’s biggest trade fair for the solar economy, The smarter E Europe, will once again focus on the areas of photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, and solar power plants. In addition, there will once again be events such as concerts and festivals in 2023.

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Dr. Carola  Hesse
Dr. Carola Hesse
  • Director Corporate & Communications