The integrated global events group GL events achieved consolidated sales of € 266.8 million in the first half, down 55.2% compared to 2019 sales of € 595.9 million.
Group sales for the second quarter of 2020 amounted to only € 53.6 million, down 79% compared to 2019.
Olivier Ginon (photo), president of the GL events group said: “Sales were strongly impacted in the first half of the year by the health crisis in France and internationally. In this context, the teams have succeeded in adapting the services to the situation of our customers. Activity has resumed very gradually in most of the countries where we operate, in strict compliance with rigorous public health directives. Despite this, the visibility of our industry remains low. “The operational teams have started development and protection work on the site intended to accommodate the Grand Palais Ephémère on the Champ-de-Mars in Paris and provide services in various countries. “The Group has renegotiated all of its contracts in France and internationally with all local authorities. We are currently in discussions with our banking partners to obtain additional resources in the form of government guaranteed loans and exemptions for 2020. ”
In the three divisions of the Group which publish half-yearly figures, the drop in turnover has also been dramatic.
The GL EVENTS LIVE division achieved sales of € 157.4 million in the first half of 2020, down 42.9% compared to the same period in 2019. In the second quarter, the Group notably delivered installations for the Tokyo Olympics, finally rescheduled, and now scheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021. This division invoiced expenses for costs incurred for canceled events and benefited from the strength of its industrial activities such as Spaciotempo in France, or Aganto in the United Kingdom (€ 30m vs. 35m a year earlier).
GL EVENTS EXHIBITIONS achieved a turnover of 45 M €, down 69.4%. with activity in the first half of the year impacted by the postponement of several exhibitions in Asia, Europe and Latin America. In this context. The Group adapts its formats to maintain the link between exhibitors and visitors. For example, Global Industrie Connect was launched at the end of June as a digital alternative. The four-day digital event featured 300 speakers and 46 webinars and was attended by over 6,100 professionals.
In the second half of 2020, GL events Exhibitions said it expects a gradual recovery in activity, with varying deadlines depending on the region. In China, all exhibitions planned for the second half of the year are expected to take place, with the exception of those in Beijing. The CACLP is scheduled to be held in Nanchang in August and Fashion Source Shenzhen in November 2020.
The Beijing edition of China Wallpaper Homedecor has been merged with the Shanghai edition of September 2020. Three other exhibitions (BUILD + DECOR, CIDE and ISH China & CIHE Beijing) have been rescheduled for early 2021.
In France, many events are scheduled after the summer: the CFIA show in Rennes, Equita Lyon, the Foire Internationale de Lyon, Expobiogaz, Première Vision Paris, Made in France Première Vision and Omnivore.
The European selection of the Bocuse d’Or is scheduled for October 2020 in Tallinn, Estonia.
The Group is awaiting authorizations in France for the reopening of the exhibition centers as of September 1, 2020.
The GL EVENTS VENUES division achieved a turnover of € 64.5 million, down 62.8%, impacted by the administrative closures imposed by the authorities since March 2020.
During the first half of the year, despite a difficult environment, the Group made progress on certain projects. In Paris, the Palais Brongniart organized its first phygital event with the fifth Start-ups and Innovation Summit. This hybrid format brought together 40 speakers in the vast auditorium of the former Paris stock exchange in front of a virtual audience of more than 1,000 participants from a distance.
Finally, in South Africa, GL events installed a temporary hospital at the Johannesburg Expo Center in June 2020 for a total budget of € 17 million.
In terms of future prospects, GL events expects a gradual recovery in activity in the second half of the year. Business events have resumed and operations for less than 5,000 people are starting to open.
The total fixed cost savings for the period will exceed € 90 million, added management, and the Group has confirmed its target of a net loss attributable to Group shareholders of € 30 million as of June 30, 2020.
The guidelines for the whole year will be published on September 15, 2020. From 2021, GL events has announced that it will benefit from the organization of major exhibitions such as Sirha, Expomin, Piscine Global Europe, Global Industrie in Lyon or the Saut Hermès equestrian show. and the organization of major events with the Tokyo Olympic Games, the UEFA Euro 2021 football championship and Expo 2020 Dubai. In the longer term, GL events intends to take advantage of its strengths to rebound as soon as the restrictions affecting the entire events sector are lifted.