Photo Credit: Fira de Barcelona

Outstanding results in a post-pandemic year

Fira de Barcelona consolidated its recovery with a turnover of more than 211 million euros and a record EBITDA of around 37 million euros.

The progressive normalisation of activity throughout the year and the holding of major international events enabled the institution to reach these outstanding results in a post-pandemic year and focus on 2023 with a busy calendar set to strengthen its leadership in the European trade fair market and its significant contribution to the economic and social momentum of the region.

Pau Relat, Chairman of Fira de Barcelona’s Board of Directors, and Constantí Serrallonga, General Manager, presented today the main results for 2022 and the forecast for 2023 and were joined by the President of the Institution’s General Council, Ada Colau, the Mayor of Barcelona, and vice-presidents Roger Torrent, the Government of Catalonia’s Minister of Business and Work, and Mònica Roca, President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.

In the wake of the difficulties stemming from the pandemic, the lack of international mobility and the uncertainty of the initial months, 2022 eventually became the year of recovery in terms of activity and results. In this respect, Fira de Barcelona recorded income totalling 211.4 million euros, constituting an increase of 234.8% compared to 2021, and an EBITDA that stood at 36.9 million euros, the highest ever achieved by the institution.

Relat highlighted “these excellent results within a complex and uncertain context reflect the return of the tradeshow activity to the city and the country and help us to address 2023 with favourable prospects, strengthening our role as the country’s economic powerhouse and supporting the productive sectors.” Relat also underlined Fira’s social commitment, which has become even more evident during this period, with different initiatives related to health and solidarity.

Photo Credit: Fira de Barcelona

Positive evolution of business

Serrallonga made a positive assessment of 2022, “a year we should classify as post-pandemic, although it should be recalled that it began with the postponement of some fairs”. In this respect, he emphasised that “our joint efforts and the progressive normalisation of activity, with the holding of major domestic and international events at our venues, have enabled us to record these excellent figures and remain a benchmark for trade fairs.”

In addition, just over a year has gone by since Fira took over the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), allowing it to acquire greater competitiveness and carry out the comprehensive management of the three major fairgrounds in the city.

Major events on technology, food and health

Over 250 events were held at the Montjuïc, Gran Via and CCIB venues in 2022, including fairs, congresses and other events. Important international events in the fields of technology, innovation and the food industry played starring roles, including MWC Barcelona, which opened the calendar together with 4YFN, Alimentaria & Hostelco, ISE, held at the same time as the IOT Solutions World Congress, Seafood Global Expo and Smart City Expo World Congress, held alongside Tomorrow.Mobility and PUZZLE X, as well as the corporate events held by Gartner and VMware.

Photo Credit: Fira de Barcelona

Medical events were also particularly prominent, with the European Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, Radiology and Breast Cancer Congresses and the World Gastrointestinal Cancer, Paediatric Oncology, Haematology and Vaccination Conferences, as well as the international event devoted to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Other leading events included Hispack and Graphispack, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Barcelona Wine Week, Gastronomic Forum Barcelona, IBTM World, CineEurope, the UNESCO Higher Education Conference, the Boat Show, Liber, Saló de l’Ensenyament, Futura, Bizbarcelona, Saló de l’Ocupació, Cómic, Manga Barcelona, Sónar and B-Travel.

As for the activity abroad, Fira co-organised Smart City Expo in Mérida (Mexico), Curitiba (Brazil), Santiago del Estero (Argentina) and, for the first time, Miami, as well as ExpoAntad & Alimentaria México and four fairs held in Cuba: Renewable Energies, Alimentos Cuba 2.0, Fecons and the first Transport and Logistics fair, in addition to the management of two fairgrounds in China and the design of a third one.

A busy calendar and new events in 2023

Despite the global socio-economic environment, which is expected to be challenging, the expectations for 2023 are also very positive, and income is expected to once again exceed 200 million euros, thanks to the intensive activity planned at the three fairgrounds and abroad. In fact, prominent events such as ISE, the IOT Solutions World Congress and Barcelona Wine Week have already been held during the initial months with significant success. In addition to this year’s MWC Barcelona, which will be held over the next few days with forecasts close to those prior to the pandemic in terms of exhibitors and visitors.

These events will complement Seafood Expo Global, Smart City Expo World Congress, Automobile, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Piscina & Wellness Barcelona, CineEurope, Alimentaria FoodTech, Construmat, Expoquimia and Caravaning, as well as the World Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis and Gastrointestinal Oncology Congresses, the European Neurosurgery, Neuroscience and Medical Emergency Congresses and the national Oncology and Podiatry events.

New features will include the holding of the first Shoptalk, the main European fair devoted to retail, the UITP Global Public Transport Summit, the world’s most important conference on public transport, and the World Airports Congress. Moreover, the Gran Via venue will once again host CPHI, the world’s largest exhibition on the pharmaceutical industry. Looking abroad, Fira de Barcelona plans to continue with the management of two fairgrounds in China and co-organise exhibitions in other countries: Smart City Expo in Mexico, Bogotá, Brazil, Argentina, USA and China and HostelCuba.

Similarly, large infrastructure projects will be undertaken this year with the expansion of the Gran Via venue by more than 60,000 m2, the works on which have recently begun with the demolition of the building where most of the new hall is to be located, and the transformation of Montjuïc to turn it into a unique urban venue with the International Exhibition of Barcelona’s centenary in 2029 in mind, thus reinforcing its trade fair activity and creating a permanent location for innovation in related sectors.

Commitment to society and sustainable development

In keeping with its social commitment, Fira de Barcelona continued to contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic by means of the vaccination centre of the Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia, which closed last December after inoculating 1.4 million people. Fira also set aside Hall 7 at the Montjuïc venue for a Reception Centre for displaced Ukrainians.

As for its commitment to sustainability, the institution promoted new initiatives in 2022, particularly energy efficiency, recycling and the circular economy. For example, it only consumes green energy, 40% of its supply is zero kilometres, it’s achieved the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management and it once again adhered to the Barcelona Biosphere Commitment to Sustainable Tourism.

Source: Fira de Barcelona

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