Fiera Milano, Covid weighs on the accounts. Luca Palermo: “Events in the presence, signs of trust”

Fiera Milano, Covid weighs on the accounts. Luca Palermo: “Events in the presence, signs of trust”
Fiera Milano, Covid weighs on the accounts. Luca Palermo: “Events in the presence, signs of trust”

Half-year results of Milan fair Spa conditioned by the prolonged suspension of exhibition and congress activities in Italy sanctioned by the regulations for the containment and prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic adopted by the Government, which prevented the organization of events in presence. Consequently, as emerges from the Half-year financial report as of June 30th 2021, approved by the board of directors, revenues in the period dropped to 4.6 million euros from 56 a year ago while the net result was -24.6 million euros compared to -12.6 million in the first half of 2020. 30 June net debt amounted to 64.9 million euros compared to 23.9 million at 31 December 2020.

It ccalendar of events for the second half it is in line with budget forecasts even if the same events will take place on a smaller scale than initially expected “due to the uncertainties still present linked to the evolution of the pandemic”. For this reason, the Ebitda target for 2021 is now expected in a range of 23-28 million euros (compared to the previous 35-45 million euros) while the net financial debt before IFRS 16 effects is expected between 24 and 28 million. euros (compared to the previous 0-10 million euros).
As of June 30, the group has liquidity of 59 million euros in addition to unused credit lines for a further 38 million euros to support the resumption of activity.
In July, Simest disbursed the contribution of 10 million euros under the “de minimis” regime, out of the “Integrated Promotion Fund”. The restart of the fairs was only possible starting from 15 June 2021 while that of the congresses from 1 July 2021.

Looking at the second semester, the calendar of events “is in line with budget forecasts, although the same events will be held on a smaller scale than initially expected due to the uncertainties still present related to the evolution of the pandemic”. Consequently, the Ebitda target for the year 2021 is now expected in a range of 23-28 million euros (compared to the previous 35-45 million euros) while the net financial debt before IFRS 16 effects is expected to be between 24 and 28 million euros (compared to the previous 0-10 million euros). As of June 30, the group has liquidity of 59 million euros in addition to unused credit lines for a further 38 million euros, to support the recovery of the business. In July Simest disbursed the contribution, amounting to 10 million euros, from the Integrated Promotion Fund to cover fixed costs not covered by profits.

“I encouraging signs emerged from the first trade fairs in attendance give confidence and confirm the centrality of the exhibition system as an indispensable channel for business growth strategies – explains Luca Palermo, ceo and general manager of Fiera Milano -. Although the uncertainties still present on the pandemic trend are delaying the timing of a return to more normal business conditions, Fiera Milano remains strongly determined to implement the strategic plan Conn.ECT 2025”.

“In these months of forced inactivity we have meticulously planned, in close collaboration with health institutions and authorities, third party organizers, partners, trade associations, restart of our trade fair and congress events in order to guarantee customers to be able to meet in person in total safety and thus return to generate new networking and business opportunities – adds Palermo -. At the same time, we took the opportunity to expand and refine the range of solutions and services offered, especially on the pitch digital. We know that technology will help us more and more in the development of hybrid format, which has the undoubted advantage of offering our customers new products and services as well as a richer one visiting experience and which will increasingly represent the reference model of the sector in the coming years “.

During this period Fiera Milano has focused its efforts on creating the conditions for an effective and rapid restart. The trade fair and congress calendars have been revised postponing, when possible, the events, originally planned during the first semester, in the second half of the year not only with the aim of hosting as many events as possible (over 30 trade fairs on the calendar) but also trying to create synergies between related sectors. For example, the events dedicated to the world of home and design will be held on the same dates in September. Homi will be at the same time as the new edition of Furniture expo. Also in September, the entire supply chain of fashion it will be concentrated in the week from 18 to 24 September. In October also the Food & Beveragand and professional hospitality, respectively represented by TuttoFood and HostMilano, will present themselves in a single appointment. Further synergies will also be obtained from MADE expo (Building), Safety (Security) e Smart Building Expo (Home & Building Automation) which will open at the same time, at fieramilano-Rho, on November 22nd.

During the six months in question, also in coordination with the Italian trade associations, an intense dialogue was carried out with government institutions and health authorities to ensure the best possible conditions for the resumption of activities and from an operational point of view. was held, in Italy in digital mode, in the month of May, BIT – International Tourism Exchange. The restart of the events in presence was instead sanctioned by Yes Sposaitalia Collezioni at the end of June followed by Milano Unica (6-7 July).
During the half year, Fiera Milano’s commitment to the sustainability has seen the achievement of important results and awards. The new plan was presented in February strategico CONN.E.C.T. 2025 in which sustainability has become an integral part of the business model and transversal to the company organization. At the same time, the purpose was defined, the mission, the values ​​and the material topics were revised. In July, the parent company achieved the ISO 20121: 2012 certification for the sustainable management of events in the following fields of activity: planning, organization, realization and hospitality of trade fairs and support services.
Progress that was confirmed in the attribution of IGI 2021 award (Integrated Governance Index) which saw Fiera Milano ranked first in the “extra 100” category.

With regard to initiatives in favor of the main stakeholders, priority was given to protecting the health and safety of employees, suppliers and customers. In particular, the protocol for containing the spread of Coronavirus has been further strengthened to guarantee visitors, exhibitors and organizers the participation in total safety in the fairs and events that take place within the exhibition and congress centers.
Finally, an extraordinary training plan called “Fiera Milano Education” was launched, functional to the process of strengthening the employees’ especially digital skills. This project, which is part of the “New Skills Fund”, is part of the broader skill transformation path envisaged in the CONN.ECT 2025 plan. During the second semester, 50,000 hours of compulsory training will be provided for all Group personnel in Italy.

The current situation, albeit in an epidemiological framework still uncertain with the spread of new variants of the virus, it presents one greater stability compared to the recent past, thanks above all to the progression of the levels of vaccination coverage and the mechanism of Green Pass, which entered into force on 1 July, which will facilitate mobility within the EU area, a fundamental prerequisite for guaranteeing the participation of operators in international trade fairs and congresses.

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