Expo Milan 2015 makes over €14 million

Expo management publishes preliminary balance.

The board of management of Expo Milan 2015 has published a preliminary financial result showing a net gain of €14.2m, with the balance sheet to be discussed by the general assembly on 29 January.

Total costs for producing the six-month exposition amounted to some €721m, while income – quite apart from spin-off gains by local hotels and shops – came to around €736m.

The positive result, read the statement, is due to “prudent and efficient management over several years” which enabled the company to deal with “the progressive reduction in expected subsidies which the project had suffered.”

Although not mentioned in the statement, the gain is the more surprising after widespread doomsday predictions circulating in the media before the exposition opened, and persisting into its early days. The original business plan had called for costs and gain to balance out.

Among the figures in the preliminary balance, one of the most eagerly awaited is the number and value of tickets. Around 21.5m were sold at a mean price of €17.40, for a total of €373.7m, of which around €20m is still to be paid. Tickets accounted for just over half of the gains.

Sponsorships brought in a total of some €224m, of which €179m in goods and services, and another €45m in cash. Here too just over €50 has still not been paid in.

On the red side of the sheet, the statement lists some €720m in costs, including just over €310m for direct management of the six-month event, and another almost €180m for buying goods and services. Communication and promotion in Italy and abroad cost around €186m, or over 25 per cent of the costs, and a further €46m is described as “general expenses”.

A detailed breakdown of these and other costs and gains is available on the Expo website.

The final balance is to be published in April, after consolidating any further material put forward at the 29 January assembly.