Messe Düsseldorf continues to recover from consequences of the pandemic

Restart 2022 strengthens trade fair location Düsseldorf
Equity capital ratio creates solid basis for operative business
Strategic focus on business development and new partnerships

Messe Düsseldorf continues on its road to success in 2022. For the current business year the company again expects a lower minus; in 2021 it already succeeded in halving its losses. Furthermore, the final annual statement for 2021 has slightly improved versus the preliminary business figures. A packed trade fair calendar and eliminated Covid restrictions made for a successful start at the location Düsseldorf. Efficient cost management and initial successes obtained in new business development form a solid foundation for the remaining 2022 business year.


Düsseldorf, 18 May 2022. Messe Düsseldorf can continue to limit its losses in the second consecutive year of the pandemic thanks to sound and sustainable governance. At EUR 108.7 million the 2021 results of the group of companies are corrected to be slightly higher than the preliminary figures published in February 2022 (EUR 102 million). At EUR 96.1 million Messe Düsseldorf GmbH also generates a higher result than the originally forecast EUR 93 million. Accordingly, the loss situation is also developing more positively than originally planned: the GmbH has posted a loss of EUR 22.3 million compared to the just under EUR 25 million expected (previous year: – EUR 43.5 million). There is also a positive trend in equity capital ratio. For the group of companies it has been possible to achieve a slight increase to 63.6% (previous year: 62.2%). The GmbH also posted a slight increase to 61.4% (previous year: 60.1%). This means Messe Düsseldorf boasts a strong basis for operative business. Commenting on this Dr. Stephan Keller, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Messe Düsseldorf, stressed: “The economic situation of Messe Düsseldorf is still characterised by the pandemic, but slight improvement is on the horizon. The first events have already seen a successful start and we are looking to the second half of the year with optimism – as do the exhibiting companies and business at the location itself.” Wolfram N. Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, adds: “Our strategic re-positioning, the austerity measures and the largely abolished Covid restrictions are starting to produce an effect: we are slowly but surely recovering from the pandemic. Trade fairs continue to be of high relevance – this is mirrored to us time and again. I assume that our company will return to its usual economic strength in the coming years through numerous measures.”

Further improvement expected for 2022 Forecasts for the current business year are a challenging task. Bernhard J. Stempfle, Managing Director Finances and Infrastructure, stresses: “In view of the current political situation globally as well as the unclear future course of the Coronavirus it is far too early at this stage to assess the situation for 2022. Despite the expected recovery we will probably still face a manageable minus. Provided circumstances develop in a stable manner, we should be able to double results.” For this reason, the shareholders’ meeting has decided at its meeting on 18 May 2022, to forego paying dividends.

Spring trade fairs 2022 prove successful kick-off for second half of the year Messe Düsseldorf is currently seeing an “event-rich” restart of the exhibitions business at the Düsseldorf location: after the international trade fair duo BEAUTY (6 – 8 May) and TOP HAIR (7 – 8 May) as well as the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits, ProWein (15 – 17 May), the marathon goes on: with the Leading Trade Fair for Retail Technology, EuroCIS (31 May – 2 June) as well as the International Trade Fairs for Wire, Cable and Tubes and Pipes, wire and Tube (20 – 24 June). This year will see 14 trade fairs as well as eleven partner and guest events being held in total. The results of the 2022 business year will be determined especially by the autumn trade fairs, first and foremost the world’s No.1 trade fair for plastics and rubber, K 2022, opening its doors from 19 to 26 October in Düsseldorf.

Strategic measures lead to new partnerships With a view to staying competitive in the international world of trade fairs, Messe Düsseldorf has re-positioned itself. Until 2025 it will focus on seven strategic fields of action: 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. A first operational success is the new partnership entered into with the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in Washington, D.C., the world's largest association for the advancement of autonomous systems and robotics. Through its subsidiary Messe Düsseldorf North America (MDNA), Messe Düsseldorf has secured access to a promising field that offers enormous growth potential. Every year AUVSI organises XPONENTIAL, the world’s leading trade show and conference for uncrewed and autonomous systems across ground, maritime, and air domains. MDNA has acquired 60% of the brand rights. “With this strategic investment, we are underlining the demands we put on ourselves to further develop our portfolio in the interests of our customers and to enter promising markets of the future,” says Wolfram Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, about the upcoming partnership.

New events accelerate growth The company is developing Düsseldorf’s trade fair portfolio further. The events planned to be held at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre in 2022 include a new platform revolving around energy transition: decarbXpo (Expo for Decarbonised Industries > ENERGY STORAGE) from 20 to 22 September extends the previous energy storage trade fair ENERGY STORAGE to include CO2-reduction technologies. Add to this the Classic Days from 5 to 7 August and Solar Solutions from 30 November to 1 December as two new guest events hosted at the fairgrounds. Last year Messe Düsseldorf organised 21 events and participations (previous year 16) and in 2022 this number is expected to rise to 52. These numbers also include two new events in 2021 (ProWine São Paulo, ProWine Mumbai) and seven new events in 2022 (REHACARE SHANGHAI, MEDICAL FAIR BRASIL, COLOMBIAPLAST, CorruTec Asia, GIFA Southeast Asia, METEC Southeast ASIA, FoodAfrica Cairo). The activities by Messe Düsseldorf focus particularly on dynamic growth markets such as Africa, Latin America and Asia. Underscoring the benefits of international growth Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director Operative Trade Fair Business, says: “Our trade fairs abroad promote the economic development in the target regions, they open new, attractive markets for multinationals and they win over new guests for the No. 1 trade fairs at the homebase Düsseldorf.” This can be seen, among other things, in the high proportion of foreign exhibitors at Düsseldorf’s No. 1 trade fairs: The internationality of the exhibiting companies at their own trade fairs is usually well over 70% - before and during the pandemic. Last year saw eight trade fairs and guest events at the Düsseldorf location attract 5,906 exhibiting companies and 266,329 visitors. In 2020 it was seven events with 5,422 exhibiting companies as well as 493,472 guests (2019: 29 events with 29,222 exhibiting companies and 1,373,780 visitors.).