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Messe Düsseldorf Ends Fiscal Year 2023 with Record Numbers

Strategic Focus and New-Business Offensive Pay Off

submitted by Anne Meerboth-Maltz, Messe Düsseldorf North America


Messe Düsseldorf is back in all markets, with some of the company’s trade shows approaching pre-pandemic levels and others significantly exceeding them. The proof is in the final numbers for fiscal year 2023: The after-tax profit of the global group of companies rose by 56.2% to a record level of €94.6 million. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH also posted the best performance in its history, at €87.3 million (up 10.3%). With that, the company was able to build on its successful restart in 2022 while further expanding its leadership position with a comprehensive new-business offensive.

Messe Düsseldorf continues its course for growth. Group sales rose to €422.5 million in 2023 (previous year: €310.9 million), a considerable increase of more than 35.9%. After-tax profit also increased significantly, up 56.2% to €94.6 million (previous year: €60.5 million). Messe Düsseldorf GmbH increased its sales by 31.5% to €391.4 million (previous year: €294.9 million), while its after-tax profit rose by 10.3% to €87.3 million (previous year: €71.6 million). At the company’s shareholders’ meeting on May 24, 2024, the decision was made to distribute a dividend of €31.5 million.

Dr. Stephan Keller, Mayor of the City of Düsseldorf and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf, commented: “The results testify to the strength of Messe Düsseldorf, the only major German trade show company that made it through the pandemic years without financial assistance from its shareholders. They also prove that the management has set the right course. With its new-business offensive, it is further expanding the company’s leading global position, ensuring that both the city and the region will continue to benefit from trade show visitors from all over the world long into the future.”

A Variety of Success Factors

Wolfram N. Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, describes the various drivers that led to these results: “On the one hand, our leading global trade shows are particularly popular within the relevant industries. On the other hand, we were able to build on a strong foundation thanks to our solid management performance in the previous years. Our comprehensive roadmap helped us to broadly reinvent and position ourselves for the future – while at the same time pressing ahead with new business opportunities. For proof, just look at the growing number of new events and lighthouse projects, including those in Asia, the U.S. and Turkey.” As of the latest count, Messe Düsseldorf will have launched a total of 30 new events from 2022 to 2025 – a third of them in Düsseldorf, Germany.

In order to create the foundation for growth in the Asian market, Messe Düsseldorf recently united its five Asian subsidiaries in a centrally coordinated network, the new regional hub “Messe Düsseldorf for Asia” (MDfA), which will manage the company’s Asian business out of Singapore. While customers will benefit from a range of products and services in Asia tailored to regional needs, centrally located contact persons and even stronger business platforms, Düsseldorf’s leading global trade shows will profit from an increase of exhibitors and visitors from Asia.

International Lighthouse Projects

Messe Düsseldorf has also expanded its international network by adding a new subsidiary in Turkey. With “Hannover Messe Ankiros Fuarcılık A.S.” in Ankara, a 50/50 joint venture with Deutsche Messe AG in Hannover, Messe Düsseldorf is not just entering and developing the attractive Turkish growth market, it is also complementing its strong global portfolio of metallurgy and foundry technology trade shows under the “The Bright World of Metals” banner – Düsseldorf’s leading global trade shows GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWACAST – with the leading Eurasian trade shows ANKIROS and ALUEXPO in Istanbul.

In the U.S., XPONENTIAL, the world’s largest trade show for uncrewed systems and robotics, took place in 2023 with the first-ever participation of Messe Düsseldorf, marking not only the largest investment in the company’s history but also another foray into an attractive emerging market. In 2025, a European spinoff, XPONENTIAL Europe, will be staged for the first time which will turn Düsseldorf into the European capital of autonomous and uncrewed locomotion.

Strong Trade Show Year

A total of 73 trade shows took place in 2023, 27 of which were held in Düsseldorf, attracting 26,866 exhibitors and 1,146,874 attendees to the city. The 17 trade shows directly organized by Messe Düsseldorf had the largest share of this: Their 24,469 exhibitors demonstrated the highest level of international participation to date, at 78% (previous year: 75%). Their 1,074,870 visitors achieved the second-highest level of international participation to date, at 39% (previous year: 46%). Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director Operative Trade Fair Business, welcomes this development: “Our exhibitor and attendee numbers are gradually increasing, and they’re approaching pre-pandemic levels. In China, our trade shows have even exceeded their pre-pandemic levels, which demonstrates both that there is economic demand and that our trade shows are high-quality and highly relevant.”

In order to maintain and further increase this level of excellence, Messe Düsseldorf is gradually increasing its investments – including in construction measures, IT and digital services. Investment amounts will successively increase from €17.1 million in 2023 and €29 million in the current fiscal year to €58.1 million in 2028. The main focus is on Hall 9, which will be renovated at a cost of €160 million by 2029. “We want to continue to provide our customers with state-of-the-art platforms to drive their business success while offering them the foundation for a high ROI. This applies to our leading global trade shows in Düsseldorf as well as to our leading regional trade shows worldwide. And for that, continuous investments not just in infrastructure but also in business development are indispensable,” says Bernhard J. Stempfle, Managing Director Finance and Infrastructure. Due to the cyclical nature of the trade show business, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH forecasts sales of €349.1 million and an after-tax profit of €31.6 million for the current year, 2024.

New management

On August 1, 2024, Marius Berlemann, currently Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf in China, will join the management team at the headquarters, replacing Erhard Wienkamp, who is retiring after more than 30 years with Messe Düsseldorf. “The management of Messe Düsseldorf – as of August 1 consisting of Wolfram N. Diener, Marius Berlemann and Bernhard J. Stempfle – will continue to be ideally positioned to lead Messe Düsseldorf into the future,” says Dr. Stephan Keller. “All of the managing directors bring with them a high level of trade show experience and expertise, excellent business contacts and a strong international background.”

For information on visiting or exhibiting at any of the Messe Düsseldorf trade fairs, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America; E-mail: info@mdna.com; Visit www.mdna.com; Follow them on twitter at http://twitter.com/mdnachicago


The Messe Düsseldorf Group

Messe Düsseldorf is among the most successful trade show organizers worldwide. It hosts around 40 trade shows, including 20 leading international ones, at its 613,000-m² exhibition center in Düsseldorf, Germany. Across 18 halls, international market leaders and top decision-makers of various sectors get together every year in order to present and discover innovations, to exchange ideas and to network. Messe Düsseldorf’s sectors of expertise include: “Machinery, Plants and Equipment,” including metallurgy and foundry technology (inter alia drupa, K, interpack, glasstec, wire and Tube); “Retail, Trades and Services” (EuroShop, EuroCIS, ProWein); “Health and Medical Technology” (MEDICA, COMPAMED, REHACARE, A+A); “Lifestyle and Beauty” (BEAUTY, TOP HAIR); “Leisure” (boot, CARAVAN SALON); and “Mobility” (XPONENTIAL, Flotte!). Completing this lineup are numerous conventions, corporate events, conferences and meetings by subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress. Abroad, Messe Düsseldorf organizes more than 70 events. The corporate group’s global network encompasses 77 foreign representatives for 141 countries – including seven international subsidiaries.

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