Hamburg Messe und Congress beats sales record Europe

Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) has reported figures in excess of its targets.

“Ten years ago we were aiming at achieving a balanced budget by 2016. But we have accomplished much more,” said Bernd Aufderheide, president and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. “However, several construction projects we had not anticipated 10 years ago have resulted in an annual balance sheet that is just slightly on the negative side. Without the added construction costs, we would have been able to bear the enormous operating costs ourselves for the first time since the new fair complex was completed in the autumn of 2008, following the expansion of the CCH the previous year.”

Some background information: While HMC has been increasing sales significantly year after year achieving positive operational results, the company has to bear annual costs for building leases, depreciation and interest totalling nearly €30m. Therefore Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH had devised a business strategy of doubling annual sales and substantially increasing its operational results, especially in even years which always feature a higher number of events. The company has accomplished that. Our next goal is a break-even result for the 2024/2025 two-year fiscal period. “I am sure we will achieve this goal, as well,” says Aufderheide.

The current overall result for the year is mainly attributed to the successful expansion of major trade fairs held in Hamburg, along with high profile events and ‘excellent’ sales figures in the Services segment.

At EUR 111.5m, our sales revenues exceeded the target figure of EUR 105.1m by six per-cent. Compared with the reference year 2014, sales even increased by more than 11 per-cent. Figuring in the costs of exceptional construction work of EUR 5.1 million, this puts its annual result at EUR -2.1 million.

The CCH and the fair site itself jointly welcomed more than 1 million visitors in 2016. For the first time, the 44 trade fairs hosted in the fair halls (with an additional fair held in the city of Neustadt/Holstein) plus all other events occupied a combined area in excess of 1 million square metres. The total number of exhibitors likewise reached a new record at 15,278.

The top-performing events included SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair, with more than 2,200 exhibitors from around the world, WindEnergy Hamburg with more than 1,400 exhibitors from 34 countries, and INTERNORGA with approximately 1,300 exhibitors from 25 nations.

Two additional, temporary exhibition halls had to be erected in the outdoor area for SMM, and one extra hall for INTERNORGA, Hamburg’s oldest trade fair, which was held for the 90th time in 2016. Events at the HMC fair site were attended by 766,314 visitors in total.

An exceptional event held during the year under review was the meeting of OSCE ministers of foreign affairs in early December, which brought more than 40 foreign ministers, roughly 70 delegations and more than 3,500 other attendees and journalists to Hamburg.

As in previous years, guest events made a strong contribution to the success of HMC, as well, with 34 functions held at the site. Top events included two Nordstil buyers’ fairs organised by Messe Frankfurt at the Hamburg fair site, the inaugural Online Marketing Rockstars Festival, and the INTERGEO fair and conference for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, drawing more than 17,000 visitors.

The CCH – Congress Center Hamburg saw a total of 226 events which were visited by 292,763 guests. About half of visitors attended one of the 96 cultural and other events, the remainder where participants in 130 conferences and congresses. The year’s last event was the Chaos Communication Congress held between Christmas and New Year’s Eve; it was also the last event hosted at the CCH before it closes for remodelling.

The CCH will now remain closed for two-and-a-half years for major revitalisation works.


Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World