Fira de Barcelona achieves a new record with turnover of nearly 188 million in 2017

Fira de Barcelona continues to set new records and has ended 2017 with a turnover of nearly 188 million euros and an Ebitda of more than 21 million, which is slightly higher than the previous years. The increase in the number of fairs last year, at its own sites and others, as well as the quality of the events hosted have allowed the institution to obtain record figures once more, confirming the ascendant trajectory of recent years and reinforcing its importance for the social and economic fabric of the region.
The most important data of 2017 and the good perspectives for this year were revealed today by the President of the Board of Administration of Fira, Josep Lluis Bonet and the Director General, Constantí Serrallonga, in a meeting with the media which also included the Mayoress of Barcelona and President of the General Council , Ada Colau, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, Miquel Valls.
Fira has ended 2017 with a turnover of 187.6 million euros, which is an increase of 16% on the initial budget and 12% over the previous year. In comparison with 2015, which was similar in terms of the calendar, the increase was 24.6%. As regards the Ebitda, it was 21.2 million last year, 4% higher than 2016, and 59.5% higher than 2015. These results confirm the solidity of the institution and its capacity to generate resources that will in turn reinforce its activities.
Increase in trade fair activities
Josep Lluís Bonet emphasised “the importance of breaking previous records, as a way of proving that the strategy of internationalization, promotion and the support of the business community, innovation and networking was the right one to strengthen the institution’s leadership in Spain and to achieve a prominent position in the highly competitive European fair sector”.
For the Director General, Constantí Serrallonga, “these record figures are the result of a year full of activity in terms of the number of events and congresses held, their quality and our success in attendances”. In this sense, he noted the good response of the three main business lines, which are the progress of the in-house salons, the events organized by other operators, especially foreign ones, and the increase in actions overseas.
Serrallonga stressed that “these remarkable results, achieved in an economic context that is more positive but also more complex, reflect the financial solidity of Fira in developing an effective cost reduction policy, investment in technologies, diversification of the portfolio and economies of scale, with very positive results”. He also mentioned that the forecasts for 2018 were also very favourable.
In 2017, the Montjuïc and Gran Via sites hosted 77 salons and congresses as well as another 53 corporate and civic events which, when added to the 11 fairs co-organized in other sites, represent a total of 141 events, most of which attracted highly qualified professionals. There were also more than 1,000 professional acts held in the context of the fairs, such as conferences, debates, training sessions and networking, among others.
Among the main events of last year were the revived Automobile Barcelona and Barcelona Building Construmat, the launch of Barcelona Industry Week, a major fair platform for new industries that embraces 8 different events, including Expoquimica, IoT Solutions World Congress and In(3D)ustry. The growing international resonance of the Smart City World Congress should also be noted, with the first edition in Mallorca (Smart Island) and the launch of three new salons: Healthio, Oralth BCN and Innovate4Climate (which will be co-organized with Frankfurt this year); and the successful editions of major international congresses such as the Mobile World Congress, IBTM World, the annual meeting of the INTA (International Trademark Association), the European Cardiology Congress (which drew 30,000 professionals) and that of Gastroenterology (UEG Week).
Fira abroad 
Fira continued its international expansion in 2017 with the co-organization of 11 salons in a range of countries, including the Smart City Expo in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Puebla (Mexico), Casablanca (Morocco) and Kyoto (Japan); Alimentaria was held in Lisbon and Guadalajara (Mexico); HostelCuba and Pacgraf in Havana (Cuba), and the shows about cars, homes and small and medium companies in Doha. 2017 was also the year when the company Fira Barcelona Mexico was founded to launch new fair activities in this Central American country, like the other subsidiary company set up in Doha.
In 2018, new advances are expected in this area with the co-organization of 12 salons, the first edition of the Smart City Expo in Curitba (Brazil) and Hyderabad (India), as well as Casablanca, Puebla and Buenos Aires. The annual edition of ExpoAntad & Alimentaria Mexico, the first editions of the fairs on Renewable Energy and Securtec., held recently in Havana, the second edition of the Food Fair, planned for May, and the construction fair Fecons. For its part, the Convention Centre of Doha (Qatar) is expected to co-organize salons dedicated to cars (Qatar Motor Show) and handmade products (Made at Home Exhibition), besides consultancy projects in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia), capital of the African Union, and in other countries.
More than 140 events in 2018
The perspectives for 2018 are also very positive, with a forecast turnover of more than 188 million. In total, there will be more than 140 salons, congresses and diverse acts, including a new edition of the Mobile World Congress – the leading global event for mobile communications – three major professional trade fair platforms dedicated to food, new industries and sustainability, that will reinforce the status of Fira as a benchmark fair organizer in Spain and Europe.
One of the most important fairs in the food sector is Alimentaria, which will be held together with Hostelco this year, turning the event into one of the largest platforms in the food, catering and gastronomy sector. Barcelona Industry Week will take place in October with the salons of In(3D)ustry, IoT Solutions World Congress and Healthio. It will be followed in November by Sustainability Week, with the Smart City World Congress, Iwater and Circular Economy.
In the calendar for 2018 there are also important dates such as the Hispack and Barcelona Foodtech salons; Gastech, the leading global event in the Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sectors, will be held in Spain for the first time and will coincide with the Global Energy Fair (GPEX); Barcelona Bridal Week; IBTM World Caravaning; Liber; Sonar; B-Travel, which will have a professional area this year -BtravelPro- centred on new technology; there is the new Barcelona Youth Employment Salon, organized by the City Council in collaboration with Fira to promote employment opportunities for the young, which will be held in the context of the Education Salon.
Throughout this year, Fira de Barcelona will also host important technological and medical events, including the meetings of major technological multinationals such as Cisco, which was held recently, VM Ware, SAP and Atlassian, and the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) and the meetings of the European Associations for Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT), Heart Rhythm (EHRA) and Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV), among others.
Barcelona, 20 February 2018