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GL events exhibitions grow revenue 48% in 2019

Global event industry group GL Events has reported consolidated revenue for FY 2019 of €1.173bn, representing growth of 12.7%.

The performance reflects both the group’s organic growth of 6.5% as well as contributions from acquisitions in Asia (+6.5%).

Olivier Ginon, GL events Group's Chairman (pictured below) said the growth momentum “was driven by continuing growth of the Group's historical operations, with excellent performances by all three business divisions, plus contributions from the Chinese companies acquired at the beginning of the year. We also confirm our target for an improvement in profitability in the period and a reduction in the financial leverage ratio at the end of 2019. These performances highlight the relevance of our strategy for development.”

The Group also reported revenue of €323.3m for the 2019 fourth quarter, up 19.4% and 13.6% like-for-like (LFL1).

Of the Group's three business divisions, GL events Exhibitions registered the strongest gains in 2019 with a 48.3% increase in revenue to €231.4m, including 16.1% LFL. In addition to the positive biennial effect and the growth of its existing portfolio of exhibitions, this division also benefited from the contributions of exhibitions recently acquired in China.




In France, the activity of the Exhibition division was particularly robust, with dynamic exhibitions such as Sepem Industries Anger and Paysalia and Rocalia Lyon. The fall edition of the Fashion Source exhibition in Shenzhen (China) was a success with 1,136 exhibitors and 35,000 attendees.

The final quarter also benefited from the biennial effect of Europack Euromanut CFIA in Lyon, Welcome Tomorrow in Brazil, ExpoEdifica (construction industry exhibition) in Chile and the London edition of Denim Premiere Vision. 

GL events Live divisionmeanwhilereported revenue of €600.1m with growth of 6.5% (+2.3% LFL). Revenue in the Q4 2019 amounted to €179.7m (+22.1% from Q4 2018).

In this last quarter, GL events provided services for a number of international events including the otorhinolaryngology and radiology convention in Turkey, the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines and the F1 Grand Prix in Brazil. 


In China, GL events contributed to the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) Finals of Shenzhen, through its Chinese subsidiary, ZZX. In France, business momentum was also robust, with notably Equita Lyon, the Sommet de l’Elevage livestock show in Clermont Ferrand and MIPCOM, the world’s entertainment content market in Cannes.

For COP25, ultimately held in Madrid, the Group's teams successfully delivered all the states’ pavilions in addition to providing a portion of the audio-visual equipment required.

GL events Venues division posted annual revenue of 341.4m at 31 December 2019, up 6.4% in relation to 2018 (+7.0% LFL). Revenue in the fourth quarter grew 6.4% to €107.1m.

In Q4, Sao Paulo Expo’s commercial momentum remained strong with the hosting of flagship events including the Two-Wheeled Vehicles Fair, Comic Con Experience and Fenatran Sao Paulo (the international transport industry exhibition). The CCIB in Barcelona (Spain) hosted several significant events, and notably the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo. As of November 2021, the Fira de Barcelona Group will take over the management of this venue. Within this framework, GL events and Fira de Barcelona signed a partnership agreement providing for the development of synergies for a period of five years including for marketing the site and the provision of services This agreement also provides for taking advantage of new opportunities for strategic collaboration between the two groups to pursue international development.

At Lyon-Eurexpo, the 15th edition of Solutrans represented the largest European gathering of industrial and urban electric vehicles.


Pictured: GL events' headquarters in Lyon, France