GL events maintains growth momentum, with record year

Integrated event industry group, GL events has announced record annual revenue of €1.427bn, +9% and is projecting a 7% growth in revenue.

The Group’s Board approved the financial results for 2023, 6 March, results which represented a rise in net profit to €76.6m, up from €64.4, in 2022.

The rise in earnings was helped by three key factors, according to the board’s report:

  • a particularly strong business rebound in 2023 in China;
  • more robust growth by the Venues and Exhibitions businesses;
  • a more favourable biennial effect in an odd-numbered year.

Olivier Ginon (pictured), chairman-CEO of GL events Group, commented: “With another record performance in 2023, GL events’ momentum remains strong, especially after achieving a significant rebound in 2022. By leveraging the strengths of its three core businesses – Live, Exhibitions and Venues – the Group’s growth strategy continues to create value and has once again outperformed its annual targets. As a result, revenue grew 9% to more than €1.4bn while the EBITDA margin climbed to 14%. This continuing momentum reflects the efforts of all our employees to whom I once again wish to extend my warmest thanks. GL events’ ambitious ESG policies also continued to produce results in 2023, and we are proud to announce our success in reducing our energy consumption, training more and more employees and significantly multiplying our circular economy initiatives. “In light of the Group’s performance in 2023, we will submit a proposal to the Annual General Meeting to increase the dividend twofold, to €0.7 per share. We are also looking ahead to 2024 with confidence as a landmark year with the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. We anticipate growth in revenue of approximately 7%, accompanied by further improvement in margins. “We will continue to invest in production capacity to accelerate the creation of value for our shareholders.”

Ginon added that the group would be appointing new managing directors or deputy managing directors in each of its three divisions to support the existing managers.

Drilling down into the performance of the respective divisions of GL events, the LIVE division expanded by diversifying into major sporting events, including the Ryder Cup, the Rugby World Cup, the Pan-American Games and the start of the delivery of services for the 2024 Olympic Games. The division’s activities in China continued to rebound during the year while Brazil achieved growth of more than 20%. GL events LIVE reported revenue in 2023 of €824.5m, compared with €851.7m a year earlier, with a very high comparison base linked to mega-events in 2022 while EBITDA remained largely stable at €93.3m. The division’s profitability was impacted by an 8% increase in fixed costs like-for-like (employee support and staffing for 2024) and a rise in customer claims.

After getting off to a slower start in H1 2023, GL events EXHIBITIONS performed in line with the market for the full year with 51% growth in annual revenue to €209.7m. This year, the division benefited in particular from the business upturn in China in Q2 2023, the rebound in Fashion trade shows, which accounted for 70% of pre-Covid business, and above all the strong momentum of B2B exhibitions like SIRHA, Hyvolution, Be Positive, CFIA, Global Industrie, Paysalia /Rocalia et Expomin (Chile).

With a 74% increase in EBITDA to €35.0m from €20.1m in 2022, the division registered an improvement in the EBITDA margin of 2.2 points to 16.7% for the 2023 full-year. The current operating margin of 16.8% confirms the positive impact of the measures implemented to reduce fixed costs and restore the Group’s profitability.

GL events VENUES posted a 21% growth in revenue on a reported basis and like-for-like to €393.1m. For this first full year of activity post-Covid-19 crisis, the Lyon and Paris sites in France, as well as those in Brazil and Hungary, are driving the division’s growth.

GL events Venues’ EBITDA grew 28% in 2023 to €70.8m.

GL events generated operating cash flow of €139m in 2023, higher than expected at the beginning of the year and stable, including Capex of €113m vs. €58m in 2022. After M&A (€64m vs. €33m), GL events’ net debt remained stable at €500m. At December 31, 2023, GL events had a cash position of €540m and had reduced its gross debt by €78m, in line with Group targets.


Comments are closed.