The MCH Group is charting the course for the necessary stabilisation of the company and a profound transformation required to meet the fundamental changes coming about in the exhibition and event industry. In addition to the savings measures already introduced, the group will be taking further steps to reduce costs, focus its strategic initiatives and investments, and streamline its organisation. Over the next few months, it will additionally be reviewing the corporate strategy and consistently aligning it to future market requirements and customer needs.
Prioritisation of strategic initiatives and investments
“We must and wish to further develop our classical live-event competence into an integrated experience-marketing competence in the physical and digital fields,” says Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, who has been interim CEO of the MCH Group since the start of September 2018. “This is a highly demanding process and will take a prolonged period of time. Our biggest challenge lies in finding the right balance between the measures required to stabilise the company and the investments which – despite limited resources – we must make in the future.”
The MCH Group is setting the following priorities in its strategic initiatives and investments:
The globally leading position of Art Basel is to be further strengthened with the focus on the existing shows, the continuation of Art Basel Cities and the development of further initiatives to be announced. Masterpiece London will be expanded internationally, as a first step likely in Asia. Investments are being made in a series of innovative concepts for Baselworld 2019 already, and the new concept for Baselworld 2020 is being worked on intensively together with the exhibitor committees. The MCH Group stages a large number of exhibitions focused on the Swiss market, which are successful and in whose future the company will similarly be investing. In the Live Marketing Solutions division, the competences and range of services in strategy and concept development are being further expanded. And, finally, the MCH Group will also be investing further in the development of its digital offerings.
Efficiency boost through competence bundling and group-wide synergies
The initiative of developing a portfolio of regional art fairs is not being pursued any further. The MCH Group intends to sell its shareholdings in Art Düsseldorf and the India Art Fair. Until that has happened, the fairs will be supported by the MCH Group in the customary manner. The group decided not to proceed with its participation in the new Art SG in Singapore that had previously been announced. The concept of Grand Basel is being verified, and it has therefore been decided to forgo the planned expansion to Miami Beach at least in 2019. The potential of different national fairs is also being evaluated and a decision regarding their future will be taken in the course of the next few months.
An internal task force under the leadership of CFO Beat Zwahlen has been deployed to shape and implement the transformation programme as a whole. Great importance is being attached to boosting the efficiency of the organisational structure. Support functions and specialist competences are to be bundled and shared across the group so that the corresponding synergies can be exploited.
“The MCH Group stands out on account of its employees’ great expertise and through its many high-quality products and services”, explains Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard. “We wish to make better use of this potential by merging the large number of extensively autonomous profit centres into an integrated company group. We will be developing a group-wide vision and a group-wide strategy, which we will then implement throughout the company group.”
Transformation into an integrated experience marketing company
The prioritisation of the strategy and investments and the already-launched restructuring and transformation programme will impact both the 2018 result and the budget for 2019. The aim is to achieve the greatest possible positive impact for the 2019 financial year. No precise figures can be given for the impact as yet. The MCH Group will communicate these as soon as the corresponding information is available.