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Record year for Koelnmesse in 2017

Published: 15 January 2018 - Fiona Garcia

Trade fair giant reports record turnover and profits for last year, as trade fairs in Cologne grew by an average of 13%

Koelnmesse, which organises 80 trade fairs and events, including the International Hardware Fair Cologne and Spoga Gafa, reported a record-breaking year in 2017, with its turnover of €350 million, up 10% on it previous record year in 2015.

“We achieved our ambitious growth targets as promised and even added a bit on top,” said Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse, who believes this latest success is symbolic of the, “turnaround and sustained growth that the company has achieved in recent years as a result of hard work.” The profit achieved amounts to more than €20 million.

The strong performance has primarily been attributed to the company’s core business: the organisation of events in Cologne and in key foreign markets. In 2017 the turnover of the trade fairs in Cologne increased by around 13% on average compared to the respective preceding events. Eight events in Cologne, covering a number of different sectors, grew at a double-digit rate. Some of the foreign trade fairs, including those in Brazil, India and Thailand, also saw significant increases in exhibitor and visitor numbers. The turnover from services for trade fair participants also continued to rise.

Turnover has increased by 6% annually since 2008, with profits growing by 12% every year, reportedly exceeding the average key performance indicators of the German trade fair market that are reported by the German trade fair association AUMA.

The company revealed that its Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme, which will have a total volume of more than €600 million by 2030, made good progress last year. Plans are also being finalised for CONFEX, a new multi-purpose event location, which Koelnmesse hopes will draw additional high-calibre congresses to Cologne.

It will also invest over €50 million in digitalisation by 2022 as part of the Koelnmesse 3.0 programme, for innovative digital services such as the furnishings platform ambista, and for the creation of a new state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.

Provided that global economic development remains stable, the company plans to achieve average annual profits in the double-digit million range until 2021 and to regularly post a turnover of more than €300 million each year.



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