Annual result presented : Severe slowdown for...
Annual result presented

Severe slowdown for GL events

At the end of 2020, the revenue of GL events amounted to €479.4 million, down from more than €1.1 billion in 2019. Olivier Ginon, GL events Group's chairman commented: "Following the quality year of 2019 that enabled us to achieve revenue of more than €1.1 billion, maintaining the trajectory of 40 years of growth, in 2020 GL events recorded declines in revenue and earnings, the first loss in its history."

After a second quarter severely impacted by the initial lockdowns, activity began to steadily recover though significantly limited by successive government-ordered closures. Profitability was also impacted by the seasonal nature of the activity over the period as the epidemic evolved. On that basis, at December 31, pre-IFRS EBITDA represented a loss of €21 million, with the €190 million cost savings plan mitigating the impact of lower sales on profitability.
„The event sector has been, and continues to be, particularly impacted by the health crisis.“
Olivier Ginon, GL events Group CEO
The GL events LIVE division had revenue of 309.2 million, down 48.5% from 2019. This division displayed the most resilience to the crisis, helped notably by recurrent revenue from the activity of structures (€139 million), flagship contracts and the delivery of several conventions and events in digital formats. GL events EXHIBITIONS had revenue of €68.0 million, down sharply (-70.6%) in a year marked by restrictions on public gatherings prolonged in Europe, South America and China in H1 2020. Overall, only 39% of planned exhibitions were held, as most of the portfolio's major events had to be postponed. GL events VENUES had revenue of €102.2 million, down 70.1% in response to mandatory closures gradually imposed by different governments. During the year, the Group was able to freely operate its sites in Europe with no restrictions for a period of just eight weeks. Overall, GL events Venues hosted 1,290 events in 2020 compared with 3,841 in 2019, a decrease of 66% in line with the decline in business.

"The event sector has been, and continues to be, particularly impacted by the health crisis. The year also demonstrated our agility and the strength of our business model. Adapting our calendar and the formats of events with an increased digital component, differential management according to the geographical evolution of the epidemic, a €190 million cost savings plan were all measures successfully implemented by our teams to preserve our activity and cash in a challenging context", Ginon added.