DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Nature of the business and its locations

The Norges Varemesse foundation owns and operates Norway’s largest and leading exhibition centre at Lillestrøm outside Oslo, and its leading concert venue – Oslo Spektrum Arena ANS in the city centre. These businesses organise their own shows as well as hiring out premises to exhibition and congress organisers, concerts, events and company programmes.

Results for 2016

The Norges Varemesse group made a pre-tax profit of NOK 10.3 million in 2016. Parent company Norges Varemesse showed a pre-tax profit of NOK 10.3 million and the group’s largest subsidiary, Oslo Spektrum, contributed a pre-tax profit of NOK 16.2 million. Norges Varemesse uses the equity method for its company accounts, and 99 per cent of the profit in Oslo Spektrum is also incorporated there. Net financial expenses totalled NOK 2.7 million in 2016.

Consolidated liquidity is good, and overall debt was reduced by NOK 99.4 million in 2016.

Events

The frequency of the events staged varies from annually to every four years. This is reflected in the annual results for the Norges Varemesse group. The market has been changing in recent years, and the ability to adapt to meet new market-tailored requirements is crucial. A growing need exists to develop more efficient, flexible and modern solutions for the way the group interacts with both exhibitors and the public. At the same time, exhibition participation and attendance must provide good and useful experiences for everyone visiting the arenas.

Own exhibitions

Norge Varemesse staged 10 shows on its own account in 2016, which attracted 2 001 exhibitors and broke down between five trade fairs and five events open to general public. The largest trade fair in 2016 was the Oslo Design Fair, Norway’s largest event for professionals in the interior design and design sectors. It is held every January and August. The biggest exhibition for the general public was the Oslo Motor Show, which attracted 40 538 visitors in 2016. Other popular events for the public included Sjøen for alle, Camp Villmark and Hagemessen.

Events for others

Norges Varemesse hosted exhibitions and events for 26 external organisers in 2016, with a total of 2 150 exhibitors. Among the largest of these were Eliaden, VVS and Caravan, which are all good and well-founded events.

Oslo Spektrum

Oslo Spektrum had its best-ever year in 2016, with a sharp increase in the number of concerts and stand-ups plus a rather smaller rise for company events. The level of exhibition activities remained unchanged. Operational activities in 2016 focused primarily on maintenance of the arena to maintain quality and efficiency.

Information on financial risk

The composition of the customer base for both Norges Varemesse and the group is broad and diversified, and the board considers market risk and the risk of losses to be limited. Receivables and debt in foreign currencies for the group are insignificant. In the board’s view, the foreign exchange risk is minimal.

In the board’s view, no significant financial risk exists when assessing assets, liabilities, financial position and profits. The Norges Varemesse group’s strategy is to avoid any significant exposure to such risk, and to ensure that items which might be affected are not of such a size that price/ interest rate-changes and the like could have a significant effect.

Consolidated profit and loss account

The consolidated operating profit for the Norges Varemesse group in 2016 was NOK 13 million, compared with NOK 6.2 million the year before.

Net financial expenses totalled NOK 2.7 million, compared with NOK 3.1 million in 2015.

Pre-tax profit came to NOK 10.3 million, compared with NOK 3.1 million in 2015.

This result yielded a tax expense of NOK 0.8 million for 2016, compared with NOK 0.4 million the year before.

Balance sheet

The group’s capital adequacy is good, with an equity ratio of 69.4 per cent. Liquidity totalled NOK 132 million at 31 December 2016, and was primarily placed in bank deposits.

Being financially sound is very important for the Norges Varemesse group, in order to ensure that its activities can be developed in line with the needs of the business community.

The group’s current debt consists mainly of advance payments from customers related to exhibitions and events being staged during 2017, as well as accounts payable and taxes.

Investment

Investment in buildings, operating assets and equipment amounted to NOK 15.3 million in 2016, including facilities under construction and changes to inventory for hire. Capital spending totalled NOK 1.3 million for parent company Norges Varemesse and NOK 14 million for Oslo Spektrum.

Working environment

Short-term sickness absence was 2.5 per cent in 2015 and 2.8 per cent in 2016. Overall sickness absence rose from 6.8 per cent to 9.3 per cent over the same period. Active efforts are being made to reduce sickness absence.

The Norges Varemesse foundation aims to have a good working environment characterised by openness, collaboration and trust.

No accidents were registered in the company during 2016.

Equal opportunities

The Norges Varemesse group has 97 permanent employees in all, including 32 women and 65 men. The board comprises one women and seven men. The management team consists of four men and three women.

Anti-discrimination

The Norges Varemesse group works to implement the intentions of Nor- way’s Anti-Discrimination Act in its business. These activities cover such aspects as recruitment, pay and working conditions, promotion, develop- ment opportunities and measures to prevent harassment.

Natural environment

The business cause little pollution of the environment.

Board and management

One director was up for election in 2016, and Kari Gjetrang was replaced by Ole Erik Almlid. Gunn Helen Hagen took over as the new managing director on 1 June 2016. See note 2 to the financial statements concerning remuneration of the council, the board and the managing director. Great attention was devoted throughout 2016 to further development of the organisation, and new expertise and resources have been secured in a number of priority areas. At the same time, clear definitions of roles, areas of responsibilities and performance targets have been established for all employees. Routines have been initiated for regular internal communication with all employees, along with guidelines and the format for future performance assessment reviews.

Net profit and going concern

The board proposes that the net profit of NOK 9 544 000 be transferred to other equity. Equity will thereby total NOK 829 million.
Equity for the Norges Varemesse foundation will then break down as follows (in NOK 1 000).

Basic capital NOK 4 000
Other equity NOK 825 323
Total equity NOK 829 323

 

Consolidated equity for the group thereby totals NOK 833.7 million, giving an equity ratio of 69.37 per cent at 31 December 2016 compared with 67.11 per cent the year before. The board regards consolidated equity as satis- factory.

Combined with expectations of good earnings in coming years, the equity position means that the going concern assumption is realistic and the financial statements have been prepared on that basis.

Prospects for 2017

Given the portfolio of events and event frequency, 2016 will be a good year in financial terms for the Norges Varemesse foundation with subsidiaries. The biggest events in 2017 will be Smak, the Oslo Design Fair, Nor-Shipping and Bygg Reis Deg. Attention in 2017 will be focused on further development and innovation to ensure good earnings and stability for the group in the years to come. Oslo Spektrum will have another good year with a high level of activity.

Events after the balance sheet date

No events have been registered after the balance sheet date which have an effect on the assessment of the financial statements at 31 December 2016 in either the parent company or the group.

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