Annual Report 2011
2011 was a historic year for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre & Gothia Towers
A decision was taken to implement our largest ever investment project, which will give us Europe’s foremost central, fully integrated venue. In addition, invoiced sales reached an all-time high of SEK 809m and earnings remained strong.
Many of the financial ratios reached very good levels. Cash flow totalled SEK 111m, operating profit SEK 71m, and profit after financial items SEK 31m.
The economic situation weakened in the second half of 2011 as the European debt crisis deepened. Although Sweden was not directly affected the Group prepared to adjust costs in the event of an economic downturn. However, the increased economic uncertainty only had a marginal impact on our business in the past year.
The turf-cutting ceremony on 24 October, United Nations Day, marked the construction start of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s largest ever investment. An investment intended to give us the necessary conditions to seriously compete globally for congresses and events and place Gothenburg on the international meetings industry map.
Hotel Gothia Towers is building its third and highest tower (100 metres high) and is also adding storeys to the current East Tower. The hotel expansion is scheduled for completion at year-end 2014 and is set to increase capacity by 500 rooms to a total of 1,200 rooms, making Gothia Towers one of Europe’s five largest hotels. The project will also create new, attractive conference spaces, lounges, restaurants, banqueting suites and a wellness department, giving us more opportunities for creating revenue-generating side events, such as networking and mingling.
Placing Gothenburg on the international meetings industry map is naturally not only a question of increasing hotel capacity, but also of ensuring that our entire facility meets the requirements of today’s and tomorrow’s customers. In parallel with the hotel construction project, we are therefore planning a long-term investment to develop and modernise our entire venue in several stages, while continuing to ensure staff competence to deliver ‘world-class hospitality’. All in all, we want to create the largest city-centre, fully integrated venue in Europe, considerably strengthening our position on the international meetings market.
We see opportunities
The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s most important goal is profitable growth. This is also the best way for the foundation to achieve its objective of promoting West Sweden’s economy by increasing visitor spend in Gothenburg.
In 2011 the Group generated SEK 2.1 billion in tourist spend, according to HUI Research. This is equivalent to one-tenth of the city’s total tourist sales. International congress delegates spend an average of SEK 3,400 per day during their stay in Gothenburg, benefiting the city’s hotels, restaurants, stores, entertainment venues, the arts, taxis, train companies and airlines.
We are passionate about the meeting between people and our constant ambition is to offer world-class meetings. When our New Venue opens in 2015 our clear goal is to bring the world to Gothenburg and take Gothenburg out into the world. Our focus on developing our facility into one of the world’s most effective and attractive venues remains firm. We see the opportunities and have confidence in the future and the strength of our unique business model.
President and CEO