Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A.: the Board of Directors approves the consolidated financial statements as at December 31st, 2020
Positive EBITDA despite the pandemic and internationalisation strategies for the future
- Total consolidated revenues at € 79.8 million, compared to € 178.6 million in 2019 ( - 55.3%).
- Positive EBITDA1 of € 1.8 million (€ 41.9 million in 2019) thanks to the excellent results at the start of the year and the effectiveness of the actions taken to counteract the severe effects of the crisis.
- EBIT posted a loss of € 21.6 million, compared to the positive result of € 24 million in the previous year.
- The net loss attributable to the shareholders of the Parent Company came to € -11.3 million, compared to a profit of € 12.9 million in 2019.
At the same meeting, the Board of Directors:
- approved the Report on Corporate Governance and Ownership Structures and the Report on the policy of remuneration and compensation paid;
- called the Ordinary and Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting.
Rimini, March 18th, 2021 - The Board of Directors of Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A. (IEG), a leading company in Italy in the organisation of international trade fairs and listed on the MTA (screen-based stock exchange) organised and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A., today approved the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Draft Separate Financial Statements which will be submitted for approval to the Shareholders ' Meeting of April 29th, 2021, relating to the year ended as at December 31st, 2020.
Main consolidated results of 2020
The total revenues of the Group in 2020 stood at € 79.8 million, down by 55.3% compared to € 178.6 million in 2019. The excellent results recorded in the first two months of the year, which essentially determined the growth in the period amounting to € 2.6 million (+1.5%), were nullified by the pandemic, which caused revenues to drop by € 101.3 million (-56.7%) compared to 2019.
The flexibility of the operating cost structure which essentially characterises all the Group business lines, and the measures adopted by the management to counteract the economic effects of the crisis and the use of social safety nets have made it possible to mitigate the impact of the contraction in revenues on the operating results of the Group. EBITDA remained in positive territory in 2020, sitting at € 1.8 million, compared to € 41.9 million in the previous year. EBIT in 2020, impacted by the write-downs of fixed assets for approximately € 4.7 million, showed a loss of € 21.6 million compared to a positive result of € 24.0 million in 2019.
The pre-tax result was a loss of € 17.5 million - compared to a profit of € 19.7 million in 2019 - after having benefited from the profit from financial management of € 5.4 million (against a charge of € 4.1 million in 2019), obtained primarily following the redetermination, for € 9.3 million, of payables for put options given to minority shareholders of some subsidiaries. The Group result for the period, after the accounting of deferred tax assets on tax losses in the period (also after exercising the option of the tax consolidation regime in 2020), was a loss of € 12.5 million - compared to a profit of 12.6 million in 2019. A loss for the period of € 11.3 million attributable to the shareholders of the Parent Company was recorded, compared to a profit of € 12.9 million in 2019.
The net financial position as at December 31st, 2020 amounted to € 129.1 million, highlighting an increase in net indebtedness of € 24.6 million compared to December 31st, 2019. The monetary NFP - which, therefore, does not take into account the debt of € 24.5 million deriving from the application of IFRS 16, of financial payables for any future put options of € 5.8 million and for derivative financial instruments of € 5.5 million - amounted to € 93.3 million, marking an increase of € 40.1 million compared to the end of 2019. At the same time, the non-monetary items of the aforementioned NFP, as at December 31st, 2020, equal to € 35.8 million, showed a decrease of € 15.4 million compared with the situation as at December 31st, 2019, due primarily to the effects of the aforementioned restatement of the payables for put options.
The consolidated shareholders' equity as at December 31st, 2020 amounted to € 93.0 million, a reduction of € 13.1 million compared to € 106.1 million as at December 31st, 2019.
Results by business segment in 2020
The Group's core business, represented by the direct organisation of trade fairs, accounted for 66.4% of total revenues, equal to € 53.0 million, marking a decrease of € 44.6 million (-45.7%) compared to the previous year. Similar to total revenues, the contraction for this business line was also the result of different factors. First of all, the segment recorded significant growth in the months prior to the outbreak of the pandemic
("Pre-Covid-19 Effect") of € 2.6 million (+2.6%), achieved thanks to the excellent results of the leading events
Sigep and VicenzaOro. This growth was completely nullified by the effects of the pandemic ("Covid-19
Effect"), which determined an overall reduction in revenues of € 47.6 million (-48.7%). This overall loss in revenues is attributable, for € 37.4 million (-38.3%) to the cancellation of events ("Covid-19 Effect - cancelled") and, for the remaining € 10.2 million (-10.4%), to the downsizing of events that were held during the limited periods of reopening of activities ("Covid-19 Effect - held").
In 2020, just one small Hosted Event was held, whereas important events like Macfrut and Expodental were held in 2019.
Conferences recorded revenues of € 2.5 million, marking a contraction of € 12.9 million (-83.5%) compared to 2019, attributable entirely to the Covid-19 effect. The measures to contain the spread of the virus allowed limited activities to be carried out from the end of August, while from the end of October it has only been possible to hold events virtually.
Revenues from Related Services, amounting to € 21.2 million, represented by stand fitting, catering and cleaning, accounted for 26.5% of the total revenues in 2020, down by approximately € 36. 6 million (-63.4%)
compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. Activities in the stand fitting sector which, in the first few months of the year, had reported results in line with the same period of 2019, were subject to a shutdown from March and partial resumption, following the same trends in trade fair activities. A similar trend was obse rvedin catering and cleaning activities for trade fairs and conferences. Only the cleaning services continued to operate throughout the year, albeit on an extremely reduced capacity, thanks to sanitisation works. The
"Covid-19 Effect" involved a loss in revenues of € 37.6 million (-65.0%), of which € 33 million (-57.1%) due to the above-mentioned "Covid-19 Effect- cancelled" and € 4.6 million (-7.9%) due to the "Covid-19 Effect - held".
Results of the Parent Company Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A. and pr oposed allocation of the result for the year
The Parent Company Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A. closed 2020 with total revenues of € 60.3 million, EBITDA of € 5.6 million and a loss of 12.7 million. The BoD will propose that the Shareholders ' Meeting allocate the profit for the year to the "Retained earnings/losses" reserve.
Events after the close of the year and business outlook
In the first few months of 2021, the pandemic situation did not show significant improvements, also as a result of the appearance of so-called "variants" of the virus, and despite the start of the vaccination campaign, which is lagging behind the initial plans announced by the Government authorities. Consequently, on January 13th, 2021, the Council of Ministers extended the state of emergency to April 30th, 2021 and, by means of DPCM (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers) of March 2nd, 2021, the shutdown of trade fairs and conferences until April 6th, 2021 was confirmed. Also internationally, significant limitations on movements are still in place due to the general adoption of tight restrictions.
The ongoing situation of uncertainty has involved the identification of new dates for the events traditionally organised and hosted, planned for the first half of the year and, for certain ones, the reconversion to "full digital" events, such as SigepExp (March 15th-17th) and WeAre (March 23rd, in the jewellery sector, from Arezzo). Onsite activities only resumed abroad with the first edition of the new event Dubai Muscle Classic in February, the biggest bodybuilding competition in the UAE, organised by the newly acquired HBG Events FZ LLC.
In this hugely difficult context, the Company will continue to support its customers to enable them to keep in touch with their market and best organise the restart of onsite events. The Company will continue to implement the action plan defined to protect the health and safety of all stakeholders and to combat the economic-financial impacts of the crisis. Lastly, the Company will work on remapping its future path, by focusing on both international activities and on developing services through a new physical-digital mix.
In particular, during the months of suspension of onsite activities, the Company ramped up its evaluation of the potential expansion on the international front. The current strategy aims to cover the main international markets in the flagship sectors of its portfolio: Food, Gold, Environment and Fitness/wellness. In this regard, significant international expansion operations in some of these areas will be announced over the coming weeks.
The process of aggregation with Bologna Fiere continues o n a new basis.
The Company, confirming the business validity of the project and the determination to pursue it, announces that it will continue to work to verify its feasibility, considering the positions adopted by the respective reference shareholders, the intentions of the Emilia-Romagna Region (shareholder of both companies) and also taking account of its complexity and of the macroeconomic and pandemic context.
In light of the above, it is announced that the provisions contained in the non-binding term-sheet signed on October 15th, 2020 and communicated to the market must be considered outdated given that they didn't consider a bigger role for the shareholder Emilia-Romagna Region.
Despite this difficult situation, the Company is looking to the future with confidence and will continue to operate with determination, convinced of the strategic importance of the trade fair sector - and its role - as a business policy and internationalisation tool serving the companies in our country, which are showing a strong willingness to resume activities and return to onsite events.
Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A. announces that the Draft Separate Financial Statements for 2020 and the Consolidated Financial Statements as at December 31st, 2020, approved by the Board of Directors on March 18th, 2021, will be made available to the public at the Company's registered office, Via Emilia 155, Rimini, on the authorised storage mechanism of 1INFO Storage available at the address www.1info.it, and can also be consulted on the company's website at the address www.iegexpo.it in the Investor Relations section, in accordance with the legal terms.
The Manager responsible for preparing the company's financial documents, Roberto Bondioli, declares that, pursuant to paragraph 2 of art. 154-bis of the Consolidated Law on Finance (TUF), the information in this press release corresponds to the accounting documents, books and records.
The results for 2020 will be presented in a conference call with the Finan cial Community scheduled for today at 6:00 pm (CET). The presentation will be available in the Investor Relations section on the website www.iegexpo.it from 5:45 pm.
Mr. Bondioli appointed Chief Executive Officer of Pro.Stand S.r.l.. The role of Manager responsible for preparing the company's financial reports is temporarily assigned to the Company's CFO.
Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A. asked Roberto Bondioli, Manager responsible for preparing the company's financial reports, to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of the subsidiary Pro.Stand Srl for a few months. For the period in which Mr. Bondioli will hold the position of executive director of the subsidiary, IEG's Board of Directors assigned the role of Manager responsible for preparing the company's financial reports to the Group CFO Carlo Costa.
Approval of the Report on Corporate Governance and Ownership Structures and the Report on the policy of remuneration and compensation paid.
The Board of Directors approved the Report on Corporate Governance and Ownership Structures relating to 2020 pursuant to art. 123‐bis of Legislative Decree no. 58/1998 as subsequently amended (the "TUF" -
Consolidated Law on Finance) and the Report on the policy of remuneration for 2021 and on compensation paid to directors and executives with strategic responsibilities of the company in the year 2020 pursuant to art. 123-ter of the TUF, art. 84-quater and Annex 3A, Schedule 7-bis of CONSOB Regulation no. 11971/1999 (the "Issuers' Regulation").
The aforementioned reports will be made available to the public, according to the legal terms, at the Company's registered office, Via Emilia 155, Rimini, and on the Company's websitewww.iegexpo.it, Corporate Governance section.
Consolidated Non-Financial Statement
Since, in 2020, the Group employed, on average, a number of staff below the 500 threshold (art. 2 of Legislative Decree 254/16), the Parent Company is no longer obligated to draft the Consolidated Non-Financial Statement required by Legislative Decree 254/16. However, in order to continue the process of maximum transparency of communication, the Parent Company's Board of Directors decided to continue providing disclosures on the Group's non-financial performances by voluntarily drafting a Sustainability Report, which will be soon made available to the public at the Company's registered office, Via Emilia 155, Rimini, and on the Company's websitewww.iegexpo.it, Investor Relations section.