Messe Friedrichshafen: Courageous direction for the future

Annual Press Conference

17/07/2019 - Annual Result for 2018: €36 million in revenues - Messe Friedrichshafen expects a fall in revenues to below €30 million in the ongoing 2019 financial year due to rotation of events - OUTDOOR Friedrichshafen not taking place in 2019 - New projects announced

Friedrichshafen - The trade fair year of 2018 was a thematic and financial success for Messe Friedrichshafen: At €36 million, turnover during the past financial year was at the same level as the two previous years (2017: €35.3 million, 2016: €34.2 million). In the ongoing 2019 financial year, now half over, Messe Friedrichshafen is expecting revenues of below €30 million. Due to the rotation of events, Fakuma, Pferd Bodensee and Fruchtwelt Bodensee are not on the trade fair schedule this year. In their place, other trade fairs such as Motorradwelt Bodensee and the aviation show AERO together with IBO and Tuning World Bodensee have already been able to chalk up successes. At the world’s leading trade fair Eurobike and at Interboot, which are taking place in September, the team at Messe Friedrichshafen are similarly expecting good results. However, the departure of OutDoor, which has been on the trade fair schedule until 2018, is reflected in the balance sheet for 2019. During the Annual Press Conference, CEO Klaus Wellmann and Head of Outdoor Stefan Reisinger also announced that the premiere of OUTDOOR Friedrichshafen which was planned for September 2019, would not be taking place.

"With its busy schedule of trade fairs, Messe Friedrichshafen has generated above-average results in the last few years. The bar for trade fairs was set at a correspondingly high level, and now we are approaching normality”, Klaus Wellmann made clear before the assembled journalists, "this situation makes a courageous direction for the future necessary.” The company had already created the important prerequisites for this in 2019 and set the course for the future, he pointed out, adding that Messe Friedrichshafen was currently successfully involved with a large number of events. "We will remain in the black, our liquidity is assured, debt reduction will continue to be possible, and there will be no personnel cutbacks as a result”, Klaus Wellmann emphasized.

Financial year 2018

In 2018, Messe Friedrichshafen generated revenues amounting to €36 million. According to the information supplied by Head of Finance Stefan Mittag, this represents an annual profit of €139,000. Prior to rent and taxes, profit amounted to €7.5 million. A total of 53 trade shows and visitor events, conferences and seminars were on the Messe Friedrichshafen schedule in 2018. Overall, 765,039 visitors and 11,574 exhibitors from 50 countries were counted on the exhibition grounds. The number of media representatives visiting the events held at Lake Constance was 4,412.

Postponement of OUTDOOR Friedrichshafen premiere

In spite of intensive acquisition activity in the outdoor sector, the Messe Friedrichshafen team has now decided not to go ahead with the planned premiere of OUTDOOR Friedrichshafen and to postpone the new format. "The concept demonstrated that we are on the right track, but has not yet been able to develop sufficient clout. As a result we are postponing the project for an indefinite period of time”, explained Klaus Wellmann during the Annual Press Conference.

The decision enables all those involved to continue developing the concept. "Overall, we have unfortunately not been able to generate sufficient response for a starting commitment but have received a great deal of encouragement as well as good registrations from strong producers for our OUTDOOR Friedrichshafen”, pointed out Head of Outdoor Stefan Reisinger, who continues to be optimistic of being able to create a new format with his team. "We are firmly convinced that the way the industry has presented itself in the past and up until recently offers scope for alternatives.”

Financial year 2019

The appointments diary of Messe Friedrichshafen for the current 2019 trade fair year is already well booked. A total of 31 international and national events, among them three premieres, are on the plan for the year. With "away” trade fairs in Berlin and Bangkok, in Nanjing (China) and South Africa as well as Hamburg, the company based on Lake Constance is positioned as a global player. At its home location in Friedrichshafen, a large number of international and regional events are in the portfolio. Augmenting these are internal firm events, in-house shows and congresses, meaning that the exhibition site directly next to Lake Constance airport has a good number of bookings in 2019 with more than 60 events. New additions appearing in the calendar are AERO South Africa, the international show for general aviation, Asean Bike in Bangkok and Nadelwelt Friedrichshafen, the international event for needlecrafts.
In the ongoing 2019 financial year, a fall in revenues to below €30 million is starting to emerge. According to company CEO Klaus Wellmann, this is not in any way surprising. Reasons for this are the regular rotation of events, which means that Fakuma, Pferd Bodensee and Fruchtwelt Bodensee are not taking place, and also the effect of the departure of OutDoor. The departure of a specialist trade fair that had developed strongly during its 25 years at the Friedrichshafen site did of course have to be viewed as a bitter loss for Messe Friedrichshafen, he continued. "We cannot compensate for this within the foreseeable future”, said Klaus Wellmann. "The lack of OutDoor does hit us financially, but does not in any way plunge us into a crisis. The fact that we have lost a trade fair is regrettable, but is just part of the normal proceedings in the trade fair business.”

Messe Friedrichshafen is not only active at its home site, we also use our 70 years of know-how to successfully design trade fairs and exhibition concepts outside of Friedrichshafen and beyond. Eurobike as a leading global trade fair is present throughout the world and in a wide range of different subsections. For the current bike trade fair, taking place from 4 to 7 September 2019, the Messe Friedrichshafen team is expecting a fully occupied exhibition centre with more than 1,400 exhibitors. "We’re delighted that alongside the established players, we will also have prominent returnees and exciting newcomers on board for the next edition”, explained Stefan Reisinger.

With the commitment and innovative spirit of the Messe Friedrichshafen team, the company is well equipped for a dynamic, international and digital trade fair market. "We are focusing here on four aspects”, said Klaus Wellmann. "The trade fair is strengthening its location through the continued development and establishment of its brands such as AERO and Eurobike. On the international platform, we are in the starting blocks with numerous new projects: AERO South Africa took place in early July, Asean Bike Thailand will be running in October 2019.” Messe Friedrichshafen is opening up new digital business fields and is forcing the pace of development, as in the case of the digital platform for the cycle industry. In addition to all this, the team has been continually expanding the product portfolio for decades.

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Wolfgang Köhle
Wolfgang Köhle
Head of Communication, Press Spokesman, Member of the Board of Directors
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