MCH Group, Owner of Art Basel, Reports Upbeat First-half Results and a Return to Pre-crisis Numbers

MCH Group, a Swiss-listed trade fair and exhibition services company, published strong financial results last week. The company, which was included in Skate’s Art Stocks Index because it owns and operates Art Basel fairs, reported six month revenues totaling 242.1 million Swiss Francs. This represents a more than 20% increase over the same period in 2009 and the successful rebound of MCH Group’s top line to exceed pre-crisis 2007 numbers.

The only visible damage caused by the economic downturn came in the form of reduced profitability and a less favorable product mix. Based on the first half of 2010, the group’s net profit margin stands at 16% (19% in the same period of 2007, but a strong recovery from 8% in 2009), and the EBITDA margin is 28% (versus 33% in 2007 and 23% in 2009). The group’s attempts to diversify away from exhibition business took the opposite direction – in 2007 the MCH Exhibitions segment contributed 69% of Group revenue; in 2010 this contribution grew to 76%. The MCH Infrastructure segment no longer registers as material for the group: its revenue share of MCH’s top line went from 8% to 4% between 2007 and 2010.

Nevertheless, MCH Group performance so far this year was sufficiently exciting to please capital markets – the company’s stock is among the best-performing constituents of the Skate’s Art Stocks Index, scoring 18% year-to-date capital gains and strongly outperforming the S&P 500.

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