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news Supervisory Board

news Supervisory Board Sets the Stage for IFA 2009… “We generate more than 3-billion euros in business at a very important time for the retailers…” Interview by Richard Barnes Dr Rainer Hecker - Chairman – gfu We have seen many sectors suffering over the past year from the world financial crisis, but how have European CE manufacturers been weathering the storm? We put the question to Dr Hecker… First of all, the CE market in Europe has not really suffered from the crisis. The consumers are still buying consumer electronics and from that point of view, the industry didn’t suffer so much. But we have to look at the different situations in the various European countries, because while Germany for example has remained very resilient, countries like Spain have seen a major decrease in business. In total, in the first six months of the year, the market shrunk by seven percent. From a general point of view in comparison to other industries, this is not so bad. The TV sector remained strong however… Yes, the TV sector remained more or less stable due to the replacement of old tube technology TV sets with flat panels. The digitisation and launching of HDTV in other countries, with more programmes has also given a positive spin to the TV market in Europe. There are many signs that the worst is well behind us. What is the general sentiment in this respect among members of the gfu? We expect normal seasonal sales for the second half of the year. From that point of view, we are somewhat optimistic for the second half of 2009, not only due to the strong impetus of IFA. How important is IFA in terms of motivating retailers? First of all, IFA is a fascinating product show with new applications like HDTV, but this year the energy efficiency topic is becoming very important. It’s a fair where retailers come to learn everything they can about the brands and their new models. What do you feel is needed to help turn the economy around as quickly as possible? That could be a political question. Firstly for improved financial conditions, we need to see more stability for the banks. We need to see some additional regulations to reduce global risk and to realise fair competition. The most important danger I can see is the risk of growing unemployment. More unemployment means reduced buying power, so we have to find a way to avoid a heavy rise in unemployment. Europe has been more resilient than many markets in this turmoil. Why so? I think it’s really through the positive support of effective economic programmes by the governments around Europe. This is why the crisis has not had a huge effect here as there is still sufficient employment and low inflation rates. From that point of view, people still have money in their pockets. Sustainable development has become an increasingly pertinent subject in the market. What importance do you think it has today for buyers... And retailers? Sustainability is one of the most important subjects in the markets and I think it will become more important than technical features. This is important both for the industry and the retailers, because customers are asking more for this and are prepared to pay more for products that support sustainable development. Finally, how important is IFA to the CE and Home Appliance sectors in Europe, and why? IFA has been the most important trade show for Consumer Electronics for many years, and last year it became the top show for home appliances as well. It’s an ideal platform for international retailers, buyers and media representatives. We generate more than 3-billion euros in business at a very important time for the retailers, as they place their orders for the Christmas period. IFA is a motor for the industry in the high season, driving the economy of the sector, and this is especially important in times of financial turmoil. l IFA International is a CLEVERDIS Publication • 65 avenue Jules Cantini - Tour Méditerranée - 13298 Marseille • France • Tel: + 33 4 42 77 46 00 • Fax: + 33 4 42 77 46 01 • SARL capitalised at € 128,250 - VAT FR 95413604471 • RCS Marseille 413 604 471 • E-mail : • During IFA : Press Center – Hall 6.3 – Room 401 • Tel: +49 (0)30 3038 81136 • Fax: +49 (0)30 3038 81146 • E-mail : • • Publisher: Gérard Lefebvre • Publishing Director: Jean-Guy Bienfait • Project Manager: Bettina Badon • Editor-in-Chief: Richard Barnes • Associate Editor: Jooree Cho • Editorial team: Neil Crossley, Marc Dezzani, Emmanuel Poidevin, Gary Smith, Jo Stephens • Photos: Didier Baverel • Videos: Sacha Le Corroler, Marjorie Gouenard, Laurent Masini • Art Director: Hélène Beunat • Design & Page Setting: Guillaume Kaercher, Valentina Russo • With the participation of: Laura Howainski, Laura Moessner, Jean-François Pieri, Raphaël Pinot, Masha Polshinskaya, Benjamin Ras To contact them : first name.last • Cover : © Photo Messe Berlin • Printing: Möller Druck und Verlag GmbH (Berlin, Germany) © CLEVERDIS 2009 - Registration of Copyright August 2009 - ISSN pending Information presented in this publication is purely indicative in order to illustrate subjects contained therein. 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news Keeping the Biggest the Best IFA Is On Track to Reach Previous Record Highs despite difficult times in past months for ce and home appliance markets Interview by Richard Barnes IFA Director Jens Heithecker As its opening date draws closer IFA 2009 appears more and more to be looming as a success amid difficult times in other industries and in particular, compared to trade shows in other parts of the world. We asked IFA Director Jens Heithecker what the strong points are of IFA compared to the others… The main strength is that our show is the largest show worldwide for consumer electronics. Nowhere else worldwide could you find a show with so many retailers, buyers and media as we have. IFA is an important marketplace… as outlined by Dr Hecker… Could you please tell us more? IFA is the right time for the buyers to prepare for the Christmas season. Last year, the volume of orders during these six days was more than 4.2 billion dollars, not including pre- and after-sales. This means it’s not only the largest marketplace, but the largest order taking place. IFA is a truly international show and this is one of its greatest strengths. Why is IFA so strong in that sense? Well it’s simple. It’s a European show, which means every important European buyer, retailer and media representative will be there. We have visitors from the headquarters in Asia, all the major brands looking for the European market, product trends, and competition. So this makes it the most international marketplace. It’s also the only show where so many exhibitors are taking up entire halls… It’s one of four main advantages… to have so many halls and we can devote one to an exhibitor. They can fill it with their brand image. So you don’t feel like you’re in a trade show, but a worldwide market. This year again, the home appliance sections will be important and with new exhibitors… Well this started last year to accommodate our buyers, because when a CE buyer comes to IFA, he’s not only looking at CE and IT products, but also for home appliances, so this is why we decided to integrate it last year. It was a surprising success, mostly to our competitors. It was so successful that we have 20% more home appliance exhibitors this year. IFA will have some great entertainment this year in the Summergarten. Yes, historically IFA wasn’t only about showcasing new products. At the first show in 1924, they showed what they could do with the products, such as what entertainment value a TV and a radio can have. So we’re going to have an opening concert by Amy McDonald, cooking shows, and other famous German artists. Members of the press are sometimes hard to please at big shows... How do you differentiate in this sense? One of our strengths is that we give the press their own hall. We have more than 6000 journalists who come every year. We also have the two press conference days that are exclusively for the press. We are also happy to be with Showstoppers again this year, as they are known for their international relationships, particularly with the American journalists. It is the official IFA Press event this year. We started the first International Press Conference in 2005 with 300 journalists. This not only includes European journalists, but people from all over the world. Finally, you’ve been touring Asia. What is the sentiment over there? This is a difficult question. I think all of these main countries that produce CE equipment have highly innovative products, but the market has been tough for these kinds of products… it’s very tough for them to be successful in the international market. I think we will see in the coming months, the various markets will recover, particularly in China, and then the rest of the world. However, it is still very difficult at the moment. ASTRA and IFA Intl TV join forces to bring you IFA in HD! European First! Viewers Get To See the (Very) Fine Detail of IFA! In cooperation with gfu, IFA International TV and ASTRA will for the first time broadcast IFA highlights in HD quality. From 4 th to 9 th September 2009 more than 40 million satellite households and retailers throughout Europe will be able to keep themselves informed about the latest IFA trends via the ASTRA HD demo-channel. In addition to the presentation of new products from the entertainment electronics and home appliance sector, IFA International TV will However, people are feeling a change. I think the companies are surprised on how stable the markets are. I read recently that in Germany, 40% more TV sets were sold than a year ago. How do you rate IFA this year? We are very happy. We hit the all time high last year and this year, we will reach that high again, more or less. Compared to other trade shows, we are quite stable and this makes us proud. To us, we are convinced that we have the right timing and place in the market. l take the viewers on a journey through the fair. The programme will feature interviews of CE and home appliance business leaders attending IFA, booth tours, and highlights of the show. The up-to-the-minute reports will be broadcast every two hours, starting at 10 a.m., on the ASTRA HD demochannel in English, in the HD 1080i transmission standard. The IFA TV HD reports will be complemented by previews, which will be also broadcast in HD quality beginning on 28 th August. After the trade show, a compilation of the most important highlights will be shown until 18 th September. The play-out centre of SES ASTRA’s subsidiary APS ASTRA Platform Services in Munich will be responsible for the broadcast. IFA International • Monday, 31st August 2009 5

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