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IFEMA starts its big expansion project, backing Madrid's economy

It will invest 180 million euros of its own resources in this project until 2024.

• In 2019, IFEMA had the best year in its history, with a turnover of 187.2 million euros, an increase of 35.1%, and a profit of 22.5 million, double the previous year. • The activity figures for 2019 were the highest in IFEMA's history, with almost 900 events and 4.3 million visitors. • According to a study carried out by KPMG, IFEMA generated 5.1 billion euros for Madrid, 17% more than the previous year, representing 3.8% of the city's GDP and 2.2% of the GDP of its surrounding region. It also generated 39,343 jobs, an additional 5.3%.

08 Jun 2020

The inauguration of the IFEMA expansion project in Valdebebas, Madrid, was presented today, in what was its first public event since its operations were forced to come to a halt. The event highlighted the progress IFEMA is making in its expansion project, as well as its commitment to the economic development of Madrid. This project, to which IFEMA will allocate an investment of 180 million euros until 2024, which will come from resources generated from its own activity, has seen the participation of the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso; the mayor of the city, José Luis Martínez Almeida; the president of the IFEMA Executive Committee, Clemente González Soler, and IFEMA's CEO, Eduardo López-Puertas.

The IFEMA Espacio Valdebebas expansion works will be undertaken in several phases on a plot that has a total area of 500,662 m2 and a maximum development potential of 250,000 m2, and is already linked to the current location with a large connection tunnel under the M-11 motorway. A huge project which, according to Clemente González Soler, “is a key part of IFEMA's strategy. Taking it on right now demonstrates our confidence that we will recover the activity levels curtailed by the pandemic and that had managed to exceed our growth objectives for IFEMA, doubling its business in just four years.” "It is very important that IFEMA does not stop. Trade fairs, in addition to helping to stimulate the economic sectors, are a source of wealth generation.”

The first phase, which began on 25 May with earth moving works and construction of the retaining walls, will add 50,000 square metres of exhibition, meeting and service space, with two new halls (21 and 22) each with 10,800 m2 of exhibition space; the Avenida Building, a 12,500 m2 multi-purpose area with rooms, access and reception areas, and a 14,200 m2 Convention Centre on the ground floor and basement. In a second phase, a budget of 38 million euros will be invested by 2024. This will involve the construction of Hall 23, a large multi-purpose venue with up to 21,735 m2 of space for holding all kinds of events. Likewise, the Edificio Avenida building will have 2,613 m2 of space dedicated to meeting and convention rooms, which can be configured into different formats comprising between 21 and 26 rooms. On top of this, there will be 2,287 m2 of catering areas, including a single 1,000 m2 restaurant connected to Hall 23.

The first two phases of the IFEMA Espacio Valdebebas expansion do not exhaust the site's development capacity – there are plans for additional infrastructure such as the expansion of the Convention Centre and the development of an area intended for associated uses, with scope for a shopping centre or hotel. This is contemplated in the Special Plan initially approved at the Madrid Government in December 2019.

Martinez-Almeida underlined that "IFEMA's trajectory throughout its 40 years constitutes a symbol of the evolution of a successful project based on continuity and on the effectiveness of public-private collaboration, of which it is quite an example.”

Bringing wealth and value to Madrid

With this new infrastructure, IFEMA will see an increase in the impact that it has been generating on its surroundings, making it the second biggest economic driver in Madrid. In this regard, and according to the latest socio-economic impact report carried out by KPMG for 2019, this new space will provide a boost by reinforcing IFEMA's strategic role against this backdrop of economic reconstruction and amplifying its ability to attract large international conferences and events. This expansion will boost IFEMA's capacity to generate wealth for Madrid, adding more than 1.2 billion to the 5.1 billion euros that IFEMA's impact was valued at in 2019. Some of the data the report highlights include growth of 17% compared to the previous year, representing 3.8% of the GDP of the city of Madrid, and 2.2% of the GDP of the surrounding region, and the creation of 39,343 jobs, an increase of 5.3%.

These data were underscored by the president of the Community of Madrid, who described the expansion project as “an economic miracle in which IFEMA will play a fundamental role, reactivating business activity and opening up to projects of a global scope.”

Of the total of €5.1 billion that IFEMA's activity generated for Madrid's economy in 2019, 48.5% came from the Hospitality and Trade sectors, with just over €2 billion; 21.3% from Transport, with €893 million, and 12.6% from the Industrial sector, with €528 million. Regarding jobs, IFEMA's activities contributed to creating 23,456 jobs in Hospitality and Trade, 8,855 jobs in Transport and 1,671 jobs in Industry.

2019, a record year

This growth in economic impact results from the extraordinary increase in financial and management results that IFEMA closed 2019 with. Results that have broken records, with turnover of 187.2 million euros (35.1% more than in 2018 and 58.5% more than in 2017), an EBITDA of 40 million euros, 44.3% more than in 2018, and a net profit that reached 22.5 million euros, doubling that of the previous year.

A spectacular growth that is also a consequence of record figures in terms of activity In 2019, IFEMA hosted a total of 898 events, including 123 fairs and congresses with exhibitions, 26 major concerts and shows, and 749 professional and leisure congresses and events, with the participation of 33,292 participating companies and more than 4.3 million visitors.

Caption: During the presentation of the IFEMA Espacio Valdebebas expansion: Eduardo López-Puertas, CEO of IFEMA; José Luís Martínez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid; Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid; Clemente González-Soler; President of the IFEMA Executive Committee; Angel Asensio, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Jesús Núñez Velázquez, President of the Montemadrid Foundation.

Watermark on images: Community of Madrid