International event management and venue group GL events has reported consolidated annual revenue for the year ending 31 December 2022 totalling €1.35bn (£1.19bn). The figure represents a 77.4% jump from the 2021 total and is also 12% up on the pre-Covid 2019 figure.
Q4 2022 revenue was up 68% from 2021 and 58% from 2019 at €510.5m, (£451m) maintaining the upward from the start of the year.
The company said its performance illustrates the relevance of the Group’s business model based on market positions in different business lines, different types of events (corporate exhibitions, conventions, concerts, sports, institutional events, etc.) and different geographical regions.
Increases in revenues from Europe and the Americas more than offset the decline in Asia, the Group noted in its financial statement. It acknowledged being adversely impacted by lockdown measures remaining in force in China during the period.
GL events Group chairman-CEO Olivier Ginon (pictured) said, “GL events delivered a record performance in 2022, exceeding all expectations. After a long period dominated by the health crisis with a direct impact on our event industry, the sector’s recovery was confirmed in 2022. The reopening of our event venues and the resumption of large international events thus gave our employees an opportunity to once again showcase their talent and professionalism, particularly for world-class events such as the Football World Cup and COP27.
“I am particularly proud of their efforts which have allowed the Group to resume its trajectory of long-term growth by achieving another record quarter and year. The year was also marked by our continued expansion with growing business contributions from new regions. On that basis, international markets now account for 55% of total revenue. Finally, highlighting our Group’s strong ongoing commitment to responsible growth in 2022, we reinforced our ambitious ESG policy and issued our first Sustainability-Linked bond.”
Revenue by division
All three of the Group’s business divisions registered growth in Q4 2022 from the same period last year. For the full year, business volume for the Live division is now up above 2019 levels, while the Venues division ended the year nearly back in line with its 2019 performance. As for the Exhibitions division, it was adversely impacted by China, the slower recovery of international exhibitions and an unfavourable biennial effect which led to a 4% decline in revenues to €138.5m (£122.4m) for 2022.
GL events Exhibitions had €39.8m (£35.2m) in revenue in Q4 2022, marginally up 0.6% from the same period in 2021. There were notable contributions of two exhibitions, Piscine Global Europe 2022 and the 19th China Association of Clinical Laboratory Practice Expo (CACLP). A number of fashion industry exhibitions (a sector that experienced a particularly sharp decline) were organised in Q4: Fashion Source in Shenzhen, Denim PV in Milan and Blossom PV in Paris. In Chile, the performances of Edifica and Exponaval offered encouraging signs of recovery, the Group noted.
Reinforced ESG strategy
After adopting ESG-linked financing for the first time in November 2022 and ongoing commitments to its partners to organise responsible events, GL events reported it had strengthened its ESG strategy for all its activities. This strategy establishes three main priorities:
• Reduce its carbon footprint with a target for lowering energy consumption by 25% notably by optimising transportation and mobility and promoting renewable energies with a target for deploying 100 hectares of solar panels within three years.
• Limit the use of disposables and maximise its circular energy performance by: reducing consumables by 25% and improving sorting rates per site by 10%.
• Promote diversity and regional development through partnerships and glocalisation initiatives based on systematic use of responsible purchasing and Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) practices and the development of an ethical management and a diversity-based entrepreneurial culture
The Group has maintained its financial targets for operating cash flow generation of more than €100m (£88.4m) and continuing debt reduction.