The 2021 financial year was marked by intensive work on the group’s transformation and by the pandemic situation. Despite the difficult operating environment, which will not yet permit positive financial results to be achieved, the foundation for the group’s successful future has been further strengthened.
- Compared with 2020, the 2021 financial year closed with an increase of about 30 % in operating income, a positive EBITDA and a significantly smaller loss for the year. The half-year result for the second six months of 2021 is positive.
- The events it was possible to stage in the second half of 2021 proved to be highly successful. This was particularly the case for Art Basel in Basel and Miami Beach, and also for the Career and Education Fairs held in Zurich and Lausanne, which attracted a record number of visitors.
- In the field of Experience Marketing, business activity picked up noticeably in certain regions of the world in the second half of the year. The order books for 2022 are well filled.
There is a great need for physical live events – we are thus highly optimistic for the time after the pandemic
- After the capital structure and the shareholder base had been strengthened at the end of 2020 through the capital increases and the entry of the new anchor shareholder Lupa, the partial renewal of the Board of Directors was finalized at the 2021 Annual General Meeting.
- The management and the Board of Directors have reviewed, confirmed and further developed the business model and strategy. An implementation plan setting out prioritized strategic initiatives has been drawn up for each of the business segments.
A start has been made on implementing the prioritized strategic initiatives in all business segments
- Some strategic initiatives – in particular in the area of Art Basel – have already been implemented and further initiatives are being intensively pursued. The Business Development & Innovation unit has been structurally strengthened and the cross-divisional leveraging of competencies and resources throughout the Group has been optimized.
- The pandemic continues to negatively impact the exhibition business in the first half of 2022 and it will not be possible to fully compensate for this. In addition, investments are being made in strategic initiatives. It can be assumed that, while the result for 2022 as a whole will once again be above that of the previous year, it will nonetheless still be negative.
- The Group's continued existence beyond 2022 is ensured. The refinancing of the CHF 100 million bond is initiated. The focus is on strengthening the capital base, with downstream renewal of the debt financing.