Brussels - Easyfairs is voted ‘L’Entreprise de l’Année®’ 2018. The exhibition organizer succeeds Spadel, last year’s winner. The other nominees were: Desobry, Gobert, Mithra and Odoo. This is the 23rd edition of this competition organized by EY in collaboration with L’Echo and BNP Paribas Fortis. Charles Michel, Prime Minister, presented the award to Éric Everard, CEO of Easyfairs.

‘Visit the future’, that is Easyfairs’ mission. The company strives to serve communities, give them a vision of their future when they visit its events, foster connections between members of a community and offer them a truly transforming experience. With 218 events in 17 countries, in Europe and on other continents, and 10 venues in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden, Easyfairs stands out in the exhibition sector. In 2017, Easyfairs achieved a turnover of 162 million euros, with 705 employees.
At the award ceremony for ‘L’Entreprise de l’Année®’ 2018, the winner of ‘Scale-up de l’Année’ 2018 was also announced. Newpharma, with its headquarters in Liège, was awarded the title of ‘Scale-up de l’Année’ 2018, succeeding Trasis, the 2017 winner. The other nominees were: Aproplan, Qover and Skylane Optics. Jérôme Gobbesso, CEO and co-founder of Newpharma, was presented with the award by Willy Borsus, Prime Minister of the Walloon government.

Created in 2008, Newpharma is the leading Belgian online pharmacy and among the largest in Europe with more than 1 million patients. From its website www.newpharma.be, it offers delivery to 12 countries from Liège. The company has four other local websites for France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. With more than 30,000 products and 750 brands, Newpharma stands out due to an optimal specific logistics approach and the capacity to deliver the majority of orders placed before noon within 24 hours. In 2017, Newpharma achieved a turnover of 63 million euros, with 110 employees.

A globally recognized award
EY has organized the ‘L’Entreprise de l’Année®’ award since 1996 to honour companies in the French-speaking part of Belgium that distinguish themselves through their innovative approach, internationalization, entrepreneurial spirit, strategic vision, financial position and tenacity in all situations.

“Winning the ‘L’Entreprise de l’Année®’ award means being part of the network of winning global companies. This year, the competition was particularly fierce between the various finalists, all of whom are at the forefront of their fields. By giving the award to Easyfairs, the jury decided to reward the great growth achieved by the company, its potential and its future prospects. In addition, Easyfairs has shown entrepreneurial boldness and has proven its strategy and the scalability of its business model. On top of this, the company demonstrates the power of internationalization, innovation and the importance of having a strong team. Let us hope that this model will be a source of inspiration for companies, managers and business schools. We also thank and congratulate the other nominees (Desobry, Gobert, Mithra and Odoo) who are
also very deserving”
, says Marie-Laure Moreau, EY Regional Managing Partner for Wallonia.

“Eric Everard, Easyfairs’ founder, started his company in his university room at Louvain-La-Neuve more than 30 years ago, when he launched the first European exhibition for students. Ever since, Easyfairs has constantly grown and internationalized and now organizes 220 events in 17 countries, including ART Brussels in Belgium, and also in Singapore, Shanghai and New York. The business model is ambitious and above all constantly innovating, resulting in annual revenue growth of 15%. The jury was won over by this brilliant story of a start-up: once a small Belgian player 30 years ago, and now among the Top 15 exhibition organizers globally, but still with its headquarters in Brussels. And Easyfairs still has great growth prospects ahead. Technological innovation, global application of concepts invented at Easyfairs, operational
efficiency... All this thanks to a solid foundation in governance, involving leaders while paying attention to its staff. All these qualities convinced the jury”
, underlines the president of the jury, Laurent Levaux.

Easyfairs succeeds Spadel (2017), Daoust (2016), Paizi Daiza (2015), Belourthe (2014), Tilman (2013), TPF (2012), Hamon (2011), Exki (2010), Proximedia (2009), FIB Belgium (2008), Noukie’s (2007), Stûv (2006), Callataÿ et Wouters (Sopra Banking Software) (2005), Pharmadeal (Ashfield) (2004), Euroscreen (2003), I.R.I.S. Group (2002), Eurogentec (2001), EVS (2000), IBA (1999), Ariane II (Sogeti Belgium) (1998), Moorkens Projects (1997) and DB Associates (Colliers International Belgium) (1996).

A reward for a young company with strong growth potential
Since 2013, young Brussels and Walloon companies with high potential and showing strong development, have been able to compete for the title of ‘Scale-up de l’Année’, which was still called ‘L’Entreprise Prometteuse de l’Année’ last year. This year’s nominees were: Aproplan, Qover, Newpharma and Skylane Optics. Newpharma was chosen by the jury to succeed the 2017 winner, Trasis.

“Starting from scratch, Newpharma has managed to create a disruptive e-commerce model in a highly traditional market. In just a few years, the company has established its reputation and generated a very significant number of jobs. It is now focussing on conquering the international market, based on a well-oiled, highly organized logistics system. Its highly dedicated management has demonstrated the energy and competencies that are essential to make it ‘L’Entreprise de l’Année®’one day”, commented the president of the jury, Baron Pierre Rion.

“Since the start of this competition in 2013, we have wanted to support and encourage young companies with great growth potential in Brussels and Wallonia. Newpharma fits this image perfectly. The company has already achieved some excellent performances and is ideally placed to continue its expansion and become ‘L’Entreprise de l’Année®’ someday. The company is a worthy successor to Trasis, last year’s winner”, said Carl Laschet, Associate Partner at EY.


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