GL Events: Powered by FIFA World Cup and COP 27, GL Events breaks activity records

(BFM Bourse) – The Lyon-based group, which specializes in events, saw its turnover grow by 77% to €1.315 billion last year, a record.

A worthy return to the great sports classics. GL events, suffering from a health crisis with a 2.5 division of revenues in 2020 and a 37% decline in 2021 compared to 2019, avenged last year with a spectacular rise.

The Lyon-based event specialist, which offers a range of services from engineering to logistics and event implementation, thus achieved a turnover of 1.315 billion euros in the whole of 2022. This amount means an increase of 77.4% during one period. year and 12% compared to fiscal year 2019, the last before the pandemic, which logically stopped a number of conventions, congresses or cultural events. and sports. Similarly, the annual growth was 73.5%.

“Exploded” lens

As TP ICAP Midcap noted, the group “blew away” its annual target as the company aims for capped growth of 55% for the year.

The group has simply reached the highest level of activity in its history. And this is aggravated by the arrests associated with the zero-Covid policy, despite the negative impact of China experiencing 2022. Excluding China, growth was 92% year-on-year and 16% year-on-year.

“GL Events delivered a record year in 2022, exceeding all expectations. After a long period marked by the health crisis and its direct impact on our events sector, 2022 was the year of confirmation of the reopening of our event spaces and the return of the event. Great international events to our employees allowed us to showcase all our talents and professionalism, especially during global events such as the World Cup and COP 27”, said Olivier Ginon, CEO of the development company, in a press release.

According to the division, Live, the group’s largest division that combines the corporate, sports and institutional events business, grew 98% year-on-year and 42% compared to 2019 to 852 million euros. holding major sports events and COP 27.

And the “Exhibitions” division, which manages a portfolio of trade fairs in the food, culture and even construction sectors, shows a year-on-year decline of 4% and 40% compared to 2019, which was penalized by China. Finally, the “Venues” division, which manages a network of 50 event venues, is back to close to pre-crisis levels of activity, up 95% in one year (-5% compared to 2019).

Towards a slightly lower margin than in 2019

In the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, GL Events generated revenues of €510.5 million, up 68% year-on-year and 58% over the same period in fiscal 2019.

The market at the Paris Stock Exchange appreciates the strong performance provided by the company. At around 10:25 a.m., GL Events shares were up 7.42% at €19.98.

The company will announce its annual financial results on March 8. “Taking into account the evolution of the mix, it should be noted that margins will logically not reach the peaks of 2019. Nevertheless, the results to be published at the beginning of March should be of good quality and a clear development compared to the previous year. “emphasizes TP ICAP Midcap.

The group confirmed two goals for the year ending December 31, namely to generate free cash flow of more than 100 million euros and to “continue to reduce debt”. Recall that at the end of the first half of 2022, the debt leverage (12 net debt to total operating income in circulation) was less than 3 (2.97).

After that, the company should give its forecast for 2023. In terms of activity, “the basis of comparison should logically be more difficult, especially in the Live division despite many events (Rugby World Cup and Paris 2024 Olympics)” rating TP ICAP Midcap.

“Nevertheless, at the same time, the group could also benefit from the recovery of activity in China (+40% estimated) and the recovery of flagship trade fairs in France, especially SIRHA (which had a better attendance than in 2019). Global Industries. In this sense, if the volumes could be lower than this record year, on the other hand, the margins should be better”, the research department develops. The latter maintained its buy recommendation on Friday and raised its target price to 25 euros (versus 22 euros previously).

Julien Marion – ©2023 BFM Bourse

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