As in the previous year, in 2021 Kölnmesse has once again recorded a significant decline in sales and high losses in financial year 2021. Of the 68 trade fairs planned worldwide, only 34 took place, 13 of which were the company's own events in Cologne. Others, including H+H Cologne, Interzum, Gamescom or Dmexco, were held as purely digital events. As a result, revenue was very low, dropping to approximately 130 million euro. It was possible to keep the loss below 100 million euro.
The subsidiary Koelncongress, which is responsible for the guest trade fairs, convention and event business, indeed contributed around 30 million euro in revenue. It organised the Cologne vaccination centre, which administered close to 650,000 vaccinations over the course of almost 300 days.
„It remains our goal to match our pre-pandemic turnover. “
The management stresses that the company's economic foundation remains intact. Equity remains sufficient due to the exceptionally high volume of more than 250 million euro at the start of the pandemic, and liquidity is also secured in 2022. At the end of the year, the Koelnmesse Group had 960 employees, around 40 fewer than in the previous year following a targeted recruitment freeze.
The economic losses have not prevented Koelnmesse from continuing its extensive investment programme Koelnmesse 3.0 and adhere to its key elements. These include the convention and event location Confex, which is to be completed in 2024. Plans for building the East/West Boulevard will also start as scheduled during the course of 2022. However, other building measures will be postponed, these include parts renovations to halls and the open space and façade design. This will give the company financial room to manoeuvre by freeing an amount in the two-digit million region. "This will help us keep the reins in our hands", says Cologne's trade fair boss Gerald Böse. His aim is clear: "It remains our goal to match our prepandemic turnover of over 400 million euro. That could be the case again starting in the 2023/2024 season."www.koelnmesse.com