Messe Düsseldorf: Strategic re-orientation st...
Messe Düsseldorf

Strategic re-orientation started

Photo: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

The pandemic continues to heavily impact revenues of exhibition companies, including Messe Düsseldorf: Revenue at the Messe Düsseldorf Group and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH was down in each case by 26% against the previous year.

The Messe Düsseldorf Group is expected to generate sales of approx. EUR 102 million (2020: EUR 136.8 million); for Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, this figure will amount to about EUR 93 million (2020: EUR 126 million). Despite this trend losses could be limited. For the GmbH, losses are expected to drop by 43% to approx. EUR 25 million (previous year: EUR 43.5 million). Despite these developments Messe Düsseldorf GmbH continues to have a high equity position at EUR 361 million. Its equity ratio of about 50% (2020: 64%) remains high.
„To continue playing in the top league, we have to develop further.“
Wolfram N. Diener, CEO and president Messe Düsseldorf
Messe Düsseldorf is counteracting the financial impact of Covid-19 with cost savings, as the company states. 2021 saw Messe Düsseldorf GmbH use short-term work schemes with new hires suspended and only a minimum of vacancies being filled, fix-term contracts expiring and partial retirement schemes with a long-term effect being offered. As a result, the headcount at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH was down from an average of 709 in 2020 to 655 in 2021. Furthermore, investment was reduced to a minimum, numerous construction projects on the premises were put on hold for a longer period and internal expenditure was cancelled.

Messe Düsseldorf is repositioning itself strategically, as Wolfram N. Diener, CEO and president of Messe Düsseldorf, explains: "To continue playing in the top league of the international trade fair business, we have to develop further. This is not only due to Covid – but the pandemic has also acted as an accelerator for issues and measures."Messe Düsseldorf has defined seven fields of activity that it will focus on over the coming years through to late 2025: global business development, development of new trade fair themes and services, strengthening of sales, digital transformation, corporate culture, exhibition centre of the future as well as structural and process optimisation. "Each field of activity is driven by a multi-disciplinary team of in-house experts," explains Diener and adds: "In this way the expertise from various divisions, projects and cross-cutting departments can be translated into operative success."