Live Nation saw a huge increase in revenues and profits in the second quarter as it benefitted from soaring ticket sales.
In a trading update for the three months to June 30, the company’s revenue figure was up 29 per cent year-on-year to $2.8bn (£2.2bn/€2.4bn), with operating income up 53 per cent to $113m and adjusted operating income up 22 per cent to $221m. Net cash provided by operating activities increased to $43m, and free cash flow – adjusted (AOI) increased to $154m, up 42 per cent.
Live Nation, which described its concerts business as “our flywheel”, said it had sold over 68 million tickets to shows this year to July, which is 12 million more than during the same period in 2016.
In the second quarter, Live Nation promoted over 7,000 shows for 24 million fans, an increase of 5.5 million from the second quarter last year. Revenue in this segment grew by 34 per cent, operating income increased to $38m, and AOI grew by 51 per cent to $88m.
Its advertising and sponsorship revenues were up 31 per cent, operating income was up 19 per cent, and AOI grew by 21 per cent. The company said that “no other advertising platform can match our 80 million onsite engaged fans, over 550 million direct connections with fans attending events each year and over two billion touch points across our digital reach”.
“2017 is on track to be another year of growth and record results for the company,” said president and chief executive Michael Rapino.
“Our key indicators for our businesses — concert tickets sold for shows this year, contracted sponsorship, and fee-bearing ticketing GTV — are all pacing double digits ahead of last year and as a result we expect each of our businesses to deliver record revenue, operating income and AOI this year.”
Live Nation subsidiary Ticketmaster saw gross transaction value (GTV) on fee-bearing tickets rise by eight per cent for the quarter, at constant currency. Year-to-date, fee-bearing GTV was up 13 per cent, and the past three quarters have been the highest transacted GTV quarters in the company’s history. As a result, Ticketmaster’s revenue for the quarter was up nine per cent.
Year-to-date, Ticketmaster revenue is up 15 per cent, operating income is up 20 per cent, and AOI is up 13 per cent.
It said its “expanded” listings rate is up 35 per cent because secondary segment is now included alongside primary. Thanks to partnerships with sports teams, off-platform sales are up 11 per cent, and year-to-date they are up 21 per cent to almost seven million tickets.
It added that more than one million tickets have now been sold to “true fans” through its Verified Fan product.
Rapino added: “Overall, our Ticketmaster results are validating our dual strategy of delivering an effective marketplace for fans to buy tickets while providing a great software solution to venues, teams and artists looking to maximise the value of their events.
“By continuing to do so effectively, I expect us to again deliver high-single-digit growth in ticketing operating income and AOI this year.”