Fira de Barcelona beats records and reaches 210 million euros in revenue in 2018

New records by Fira de Barcelona. In 2018, for the first time in its history, the institution is set to exceed the revenue threshold of 200 million euros, reaching 210 million and an EBITDA of 29 million. These exceptional results are the fruit of a fine evolution of the shows themselves, the strength of the external events and the outstanding activity in other countries, as well as the commitment to innovation, which strengthens its position in the European trade fair market and its economic and social impact.
The President of the Governing Board of Fira, Josep Lluís Bonet and the General Manager Constantí Serrallonga presented the main details of this year’s activity and the predictions for 2019 during today’s meeting of the General Council of the institution, chaired by the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and whose vice-presidents are the Minister for Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Àngels Chacón, and the President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls.
Furthermore, the Council has approved the appointment of five members of the Fira Governing Board, among them the new president, the CEO of the Mat Holding Group, Pau Relat, replacing Bonet. This governing body is comprised of nine members.
Fira expects to end 2018 with a turnover of 210 million euros, which is an increase of 13% on the initial budget and of 12% compared to 2017. In comparison with 2016, which was similar in terms of the calendar, there has been a 25% increase. For its part, the estimated EBITDA will also be a record, exceeding 29 million euros, 44% more than in 2017 and 2016.
Solidity in business lines
Josep Lluís Bonet expressed his “great satisfaction in presenting these magnificent results in his last year as chairman of the Board of Directors”, after having thanked it for the support received over his 14 years at the head of the institution. He emphasised the value of “the notable evolution of Fira”, which has shown three consecutive years of record-breaking revenue, “fruit of the successful strategy executed which has strengthened its solvency and undeniable leadership in the Spanish trade fair sector, as well as its outstanding position in the European market”.
As Constantí Serrallonga explained, “this extraordinary balance responds to the smooth running of the main business lines of Fira, that’s to say, the favourable progression of the shows themselves, the magnitude of many of the events organised by other operators and the outstanding activity abroad, as well as the constant commitment to innovation, commercial activity, globalisation and the transfer of knowledge”.
He also wanted to highlight that this record “reflects the economic and organisational solidity of Fira, which in recent years has been developing operations geared towards growth, the diversification of its portfolio and the investment in technologies and infrastructures to guarantee not only the generation of resources aimed at the self-funding of its activity, but also having first class venues and services”.
Important industry dates
Throughout 2018, Fira de Barcelona organised and hosted a total of 153 shows, congresses and other corporate, social and cultural events, both in its Montjuïc and Gran Via venues and in other countries. Within the framework of these fairs, more than 1,000 activities such as conferences, debates, training and network sessions, among others, have taken place.
2018 has been a year of important industry dates linked to both traditional sectors, such as food, as well as strategic sectors, such as technology and industry 4.0. Noteworthy, in this regard, is Alimentaria which took place together with Hostelco, becoming an important platform in the food and hospitality sector, and Hispack (packaging) which took place alongside FoodTech Barcelona (food technologies).
Within the technology field, it is worth highlighting the second edition of Barcelona Industry Week which encompassed the shows In(3D)ustry, IoT Solutions World Congress and Healthio (focused in the field of healthcare), as well as the growing international relevance of Smart City Expo World Congress, which took place simultaneously with the iWater fair. As well as another successful edition of the Mobile World Congress, other highlights in this field include Gastech, the trade show in the gas industry which was held for the first time in Barcelona, as well as the corporate meetings VM World, Cisco Live and SAP TechEd.
Other notable events were the World Ophthalmology Congress, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Caravaning, Barcelona Games World, The Salón Náutico (International Boat Show), IBTM World and Manga, as well as the Saló de l’Ocupació Juvenil, the new event on work reorientation which was held within the Saló de l’Ensenyament (offering guidance and advice regarding education), and the second edition of Smart City Island in Mallorca. A significant point was the announcement that from 2021 the Gran Via venue will hold the ISE, the most important event in the world for the audiovisual industry, which currently takes place in Amsterdam.
Fira in the world
Throughout this year, Fira has continued with its activity abroad. It has co-organised a total of twelve shows, highlights of which include the editions of Smart City Expo in the cities of Curitiba (Brazil), Istanbul (Turkey), Casablanca (Morocco), Kyoto (Japan), Puebla (Mexico) and Jaipur (India), three professional trade fairs held in Cuba (Renewable Energies, Securtec and Alimentos Cuba), as well as Fecons (construction), the Qatar Motor Show and another edition of ExpoAntad & Alimentaria Mexico, in addition to the fair management and consultancy projects in many other countries.
For 2019 Fira will continue with its international strategy through the co-organisation of shows in other countries, such as Alimentaria Lisboa and ExpoAntad & Alimentaria Mexico, the meetings of Smart City Expo in Curitiba, Buenos Aires, Kyoto and Puebla, among other cities, in addition to PacGraf Cuba and HostelCuba, as well as several consultancy projects.
2019, the centenary year for Automobile whilst Retail & Brand Experience is born
The perspectives for 2019 are also very positive with the prediction to exceed 190 million euros of revenue, in a year that, due to the calendar, no triennial shows will take place. Significant fair activity is also expected with important professional and public dates.
A special mention goes to Automobile Barcelona, which will celebrate its centenary edition in May, converting the Montjuïc venue into a great festival for the automotive industry; Mobile World Congress; ITMA, the most important fair in the world for the textile industry which returns to the Gran Via venue following its 2011 edition; Smart City Expo World Congress; Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week; IoT Solutions World Congress; Barcelona Building Construmat, Piscina (for the world of pools) and the Salón Náutico (the International Boat Show).
In line with its commitment to innovation and responding to the demands of the sector, in 2019 Fira de Barcelona will launch Retail & Brand Experience World Congress, a new show dedicated to the digital transformation of the retail sector. It will also be a year of important medical meetings, such as the World Diabetes, Urology and Oncology Congresses, among others, and corporate events organised by the technology companies Cisco, SAP and VM Ware.
First class venues
The growing activity recorded by Fira de Barcelona, with fully occupied venues (more than one million m2 of net surface area in 2018) and the growing commitment to quality infrastructures to undertake future challenges, including, from November 2021, the anticipated management of the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB in its Spanish initials), which will allow it to reaffirm its global position.
Today, a great level of activity in the venues that the General Council has been able to be confirmed, as well as the important economic and social impact that it brings to the territory. For this reason, a strategic plan of the fair facilities has been agreed in order to respond to current and future growth needs, with the aim of strengthening its leadership in the competitive European fairs and congresses market.
Barcelona, 14 December 2018