The event specialist GL Events has almost quintupled its savings plan in 2020 to offset the drop in its income induced by the health crisis, according to its results published on Thursday.
Read also: GL Events lost more than expected in 2020
From 40 million euros announced a year ago, this plan "has been regularly adapted and increased in the face of the scale of the crisis" and "at the end of 2020, the savings of 190 million euros made it possible to reduce fixed costs of 35% compared to 2019 ”, indicates the Lyon group without detailing how it went about it.
On Monday, its president Olivier Ginon had already announced, in an interview with the regional daily Le Progrès, a larger than expected net loss, at 74.9 million euros, the first in 40 years of activity.
Turnover fell by 700 million to 479.4 million euros from the record 1.17 billion reached in 2019.
GL Events is present in three major markets around the world, all of them weighed down by the Covid-19 epidemic: the logistics of major events, the management of exhibition centers and the organization of trade fairs.
"Only 39% of the planned fairs were able to take place, most of the major events in the portfolio having had to be postponed"
, underlines GL.
The administrative closures of sites it operates in Europe have weighed almost the entire year, only eight weeks of activity having escaped any government constraint.
In total, the number of events hosted was divided by three over the year;
in return, the group benefited from partial exemptions from rents or indemnities for a total amount of 22 million euros.
Exceptional public aid
GL Events, which is campaigning for the payment of exceptional public aid to the events sector,
"up to the financial shock suffered",
claims to have preserved its cash flow, thanks in particular to a 249 million euros loan guaranteed by the State, and have sufficient liquidity - over 450 million euros - for the next 12 months.
The group, which had waived its 2019 dividend, will not pay any for 2020 either and anticipates a level of activity still limited in the first quarter of 2021. It also announced on Thursday the entry of the investment fund Nexus Point in the capital of its Chinese subsidiary.