The trade fair has now been idle for a year. But the MCH Group is preparing for the future. Overall, the MCH Group’s sales in 2020 fell by 60 percent to 188.0 million francs and are thus 257.2 million below the previous year, as MCH announced on Thursday. Because of the corona pandemic, various trade fairs, such as the Art Basel art fair or the Baselworld watch and jewelry fair, had to be canceled and the exhibition halls in Basel and Zurich belonging to the MCH Group were also empty.
The operating result (EBITDA) slipped into the red with -45.1 million francs, after a profit of 22.1 million in the previous year. The net result for the year was also deep red with a minus of 72.2 million.
When the half-year results were announced in September, MCH had already warned that a drop in sales of 230 to 270 million francs and a high double-digit loss could be expected.
After all, last year the MCH Group found a new financier in James Murdoch and his Lupa Systems. At the end of November, the shareholders approved a capital increase of up to 104.5 million francs, which enabled Murdoch – the son of the US media mogul Rupert Murdoch – to join the company.
Thanks to the inflow of funds of 71.1 million as a result of the capital increase, liquid funds at the end of 2020 were 130.1 million francs, which, according to the announcement, ensures the continued existence of the company. Compared to the previous year, however, the liquid funds would have decreased by 8.2 million.
According to Ulrich Vischer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, the company is ready for the future: “The process of strategic further development with the inclusion of the new strategic partner has been initiated,” he is quoted as saying. The aim is to further accelerate the transformation to break even.
According to the communiqué, the breakeven point should not be reached until 2022. Then the level of 2019 will be targeted again. For the current year, however, the group is still very cautious. A substantial loss must be expected again for the 2021 financial year, “which will, however, be significantly smaller than 2020,” it says.