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26.01.17

Hamburg Messe und Congress Exceeds Expectations

Company History Features New Sales Record

Exhibition area bookings top 1 m square metres for the first time

Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) continues its series of record achievements. In 2016 the company was again able to increase sales significantly, exceeding its own goals by far. “Ten years ago we were aiming at achieving a balanced budget by 2016. But we have accomplished much more," says Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. "However, several construction projects we had not anticipated 10 years ago have resulted in an annual balance sheet that is just slightly on the negative side. Without the added construction costs, we would have been able to bear the enormous operating costs ourselves for the first time since the new fair complex was completed in the autumn of 2008, following the expansion of the CCH the previous year." Some background information: While HMC has been increasing sales significantly year after year achieving positive operational results, the company has to bear annual costs for building leases, depreciation and interest totalling nearly €30 million. Therefore Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH had devised a business strategy of doubling annual sales and substantially increasing its operational results, especially in even years which always feature a higher number of events. The company has accomplished that. Our next goal is a break-even result for the 2024/2025 two-year fiscal period. "I am sure we will achieve this goal, as well," says Aufderheide.

Sales review shows 11 per-cent increase over reference year

The current overall result for the year is mainly attributed to the successful expansion of major trade fairs held in Hamburg, along with high profile events and excellent sales figures in the Services segment. At EUR 111.5 million, our sales revenues exceeded the target figure of EUR 105.1 million by six per-cent. Compared with the reference year 2014, sales even increased by more than 11 per-cent. Figuring in the costs of exceptional construction work of EUR 5.1 million, this puts our annual result at EUR -2.1 million.

All in all, the CCH and the fair site itself jointly welcomed more than 1 million visitors in 2016. For the first time, the 44 trade fairs hosted in the fair halls (with an additional fair held in the city of Neustadt/Holstein) plus all other events occupied a combined area in excess of 1 million square metres. The total number of exhibitors likewise reached a new record at 15,278. The top-performing events included SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair, with more than 2,200 exhibitors from around the world, WindEnergy Hamburg with more than 1,400 exhibitors from 34 countries, and INTERNORGA with approximately 1,300 exhibitors from 25 nations. Two additional, temporary exhibition halls had to be erected in the outdoor area for SMM, and one extra hall for INTERNORGA, Hamburg's oldest trade fair, which was held for the 90th time in 2016. Events at the HMC fair site were attended by 766,314 visitors in total.

An exceptional event held during the year under review was the meeting of OSCE ministers of foreign affairs in early December, which brought more than 40 foreign ministers, roughly 70 delegations and more than 3,500 other attendees and journalists to Hamburg.

Guest events – fair site allows several events to be held in parallel

As in previous years, guest events made a strong contribution to the success of HMC, as well, with 34 functions held at the site. Top events included two Nordstil buyers’ fairs organised by Messe Frankfurt at the Hamburg fair site, the inaugural Online Marketing Rockstars Festival, and the INTERGEO fair and conference for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, drawing more than 17,000 visitors. Thanks to the unique design of the Hamburg fair complex it was possible to organise as many as four concurrent, separate events on two occasions.

CCH to close for revitalisation

The CCH - Congress Center Hamburg saw a total of 226 events which were visited by 292,763 guests. About half of visitors attended one of the 96 cultural and other events, the remainder where participants in 130 conferences and congresses. The year’s last event was the Chaos Communication Congress held between Christmas and New Year's Eve; it was also the last event hosted at the CCH before it closes for remodelling. The CCH will now remain closed for two-and-a-half years for major revitalisation works.

Foreign subsidiaries – HMC concurrently organises participation in two EXPO events

HMC’s foreign activities included 14 joint projects, accompanying more than 400 exhibitors to fairs held in Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta, Tokyo or the United States. At the same time, HMC had another debut, being the first German organiser to coordinate two EXPO participations in parallel for several federal ministries. Within a few months, the Hamburg experts paved the way for the German participation in the international exhibition "Flowers and Children – Cultivating a Green Life for Future Generations” in Antalya, Turkey while preparing the German pavilion for the 2017 EXPO in Astana, Kazakhstan at the same time.

Prospects for 2017 – growth, more premieres, and global politics

The year 2017 was heralded at HMC by a premiere:  The New Year's first HMC-organised event is the real estate fair home2. From 27 to 29 January, real estate owners and all visitors interested in home ownership can get informed about products and services relevant to building, purchasing or modernising real estate. A second Hamburg premiere will follow in autumn when the Hamburg Motor Classics debuts from 13 to 15 October. Legacy and vintage automobiles will be on display for admirers and potential buyers for three days.

But HMC has more special treats in store for this year. For the first time since its establishment, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH must manage without the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg which is undergoing substantial remodelling in a EUR 194 million revitalisation project. In early July, the world’s attention will focus on the G 20 summit of heads of state held at the Hamburg fair complex.

In terms of its financial development, HMC anticipates an 11 per-cent sales growth in 2017 over the reference year 2015, with a projected revenue of EUR 69.5 million. The main sales drivers continue to be the strong-performing events organised by Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, especially INTERNORGA in March.

Guest events and international business

Guest events and activities abroad are likewise expected to make a substantial contribution to the projected result. One of the most exciting functions of the 30-some guest events planned this year is sure to be the Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR) Festival on 2 and 3 March which is expected to draw a crowd of roughly 25,000 to the fair halls. OMR is a platform for the digital marketing sector.

Furthermore, HMC will be involved in about 17 events abroad. The most noteworthy project will be to organise the German pavilion at the 2017 EXPO in Astana, Kasakhstan. The core theme of the world exposition which will run from 10 June through to 10 September 2017 will be “Future Energy: Overcoming The Greatest Challenge For Humanity”. Following the operation of the German pavilions in Saragossa, Spain in 2008 and Yeosu, South Korea in 2012 as well as the Hamburg House at the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai, China, and the preparation of the German participation in the 2016 EXPO in Antalya, Turkey, the Astana event will mark HMC's fifth EXPO project.

 

 

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