Against the backdrop of an unfavourable global environ- ment for event-related activities, GL events met its growth target for like-for-like annual sales despite unfavour- able global economic conditions for the event industry, particularly in France that continues to account for half the Group s revenue. International markets remained a major growth driver. This includes jumbo events (Rio Olympic Games, COP 22 in Morocco), the development of subsidiaries (inauguration of São Paulo Expo) and estab- lishing strategic footholds to seize on future opportunities (joint-venture in China).
The disposal of unprofitable business units had an impact of 24 million on Group revenue though with a positive effect on profitability starting in 2016. The Group continued to focus on controlling costs and achieving an optimal balance between profitability and growth. EBITDA amounted to 130 million, the operating margin further improved, increasing to 8.32%, operating profit rose to 77.1 million (+11.5% in relation to 2015) and net income attributable to equity holders of the parent to 31.9 million (+3.4%).
In 2016, the Group s net investments in property, plant and equipment in the amount of 131 million concerned primarily 96 million for GL events Venues (completion of work at São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), 35 million for GL events Live (of which 10 million for the medium term structure leasing business generating an ROCE above the Group level). The impact of these investments on net debt at 31 December 2016 was 392 million. This amount will be gradually reduced in 2017 and 2018 through cash flow generation from invested assets and a significant reduction in the capital spending budget excluding potential acquisi- tions. The debt maturity profile was furthermore adapted to the long-term strategic assets with notably the completion of a 100 million private placement bond issue. Gearing declined to 88.1% (from 100.4% in 2015) and the net debt/ EBITDA ratio also improved from 3.23 to 3.01.
2016, CONTINUING GROWTH MOMENTUM
OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE THREE BUSINESS DIVISIONS As a provider of services for events, GL events Live had revenue of 500.5 million in 2016 highlighted by both large events the Rio Olympic Games, the 2016 Euro- pean football championships and COP 22 but also a high level of recurrence for services delivered in the sector of trade shows and fairs/exhibitions and local, regional and national events. 2016 in particular provided opportunities to demonstrate the Group s know-how in the area of sig- nage at all international events. In addition, the LOU Rugby club signed a 60-year emphyteutic lease for the manage- ment of the Lyon Gerland stadium.
With a portfolio of more than 300 proprietary shows and events, GL events Exhibitions had 140 million in rev- enue, up 1% from 2014 ( 134 million), also an off-year in the biennial cycle. The main exhibitions registered excellent performances in Europe Equita, Première Vision, Piscine Global with a positive trend for future years in terms of number of visitors.
GL events Venues, the division managing the international portfolio of venues, contributed 307.6 million in revenue, up 6.2 %, and with organic growth of 10.7 %. The Group ven- ues Barcelona and Budapest in particular demonstrated strong commercial momentum. With the opening of Sao Paulo Expo and the successful launch of the first edition of the auto show, revenue for this division reached a record level in billings in the last quarter of 2016 of 95 million. In China, the Group entered into a joint venture with the Yuexiu Group to manage a convention centre in Guangzhou. In Lyon, the operating lease for Eurexpo was renewed for a 30 year term.
BY REDUCING GROUP DEBT ALLOWS, IT IS ABLE TO FINANCE A LONG-TERM STRATEGY TO PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT AND THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF REGIONS.
GL EVENTS COMPANY REPORT 2016 /KEY FIGURES /15GL EVENTS COMPANY REPORT 2016 /KEY FIGURES /14
KEY FIGURES / ANALYSIS