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Messe Frankfurt posts €30m loss after pandemic cancellations

Global trade show organiser Messe Frankfurt says it’s back on course for growth after pandemic restrictions were eased in April 2022. The return of face-to-face events drove the company’s sales to around €450m for financial year 2022 but pandemic-related cancellations in the first quarter resulted in an after-tax loss “in the region of €-30 million.”

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     IMEX Frankfurt trade fair for the international event industry in June, 2022

“The Group is expecting sales to be in the region of €450 million, compared with €154 million in the previous year,” the company said. “Now that the master plan for the Messe Frankfurt exhibition grounds is being brought to a successful close, the focus of investment is on three key areas: new trade fair concepts, digitalisation and sustainability.”

Wolfgang Marzin

    'Face-to-face interaction
 needed and in great demand':
         Wolfgang Marzin,
      CEO Messe Frankfurt

On presenting the group’s preliminary figures for financial year 2022, president and CEO Wolfgang Marzin (pictured) said: “Face-to-face interaction – our core business – is needed and is in great demand. The importance of this for the sectors we serve can be seen from the sheer number of events, the consistently high level of customer satisfaction and the clear international component.”

Strong event performance after restart and strategic reorientation

A total of 310 events were held under the Messe Frankfurt Group umbrella in financial year 2022, featuring almost 52,000 exhibiting companies and attended by 3.3 million visitors. 

80 events around the world were cancelled or postponed owing to the after-effects of the coronavirus. Around 73 percent of exhibitors at Messe Frankfurt events in Frankfurt came from outside Germany, as did around 57 percent of trade buyers. 

“We currently expect consolidated sales for financial year 2022 to be around €450 million," said Marzin. "The group result after tax will be in the region of €-30 million, due among other things to the first quarter being lost to the pandemic, to loans being repaid and to the sale of a property being factored in.

“Over the past two years, we have learnt a great deal and shown a lot of courage. We have tried things out, selected the most suitable ones and are now concentrating on what is relevant and are able to optimise the quality of our events and services.” After key decades of specialisation, internationalisation and advancing digitalisation, in which Messe Frankfurt stepped up its role as one of the world’s leading trade fair companies, the company is now on the cusp of the next major developments. The company’s aim is to speed up its digital modernisation and to turn its events into an exclusive B2B hub for the various sectors throughout the whole year."

Sustainability is another central part of Messe Frankfurt’s corporate strategy. The company has completed an ESG rating (Environmental, Social and Governance) for the first time and has received a bronze medal. Messe Frankfurt is also aiming to be the first company in the event sector to secure a certificate from environmental management system Eco Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS). Messe Frankfurt will conduct an  energy audit until November 2023 then measure its progress every year from then on. 

The completion of Hall 5 and its official opening in early February 2023 mark the end of the master plan for the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, which involved an investment of more than one billion euros. The venue can house several simultaneous events. 

www.messefrankfurt.com