CTS Eventim said it has seen strong advanced sales in North America and Germany as it revealed COVID-impacted losses for the first quarter of the year.

The Frankfurt-listed group, which owns brands Eventim, Ticketcorner and Ticketone and operates several major venues in Europe, said the three-month period to March 31 was overshadowed by the impacts of coronavirus restrictions, with revenue retreating by 89.4 per cent year-on-year to €19.6m compared to €184.6m in 2020.

First-quarter revenue in the ticketing segment was 83.0 per cent lower year-on-year, at €13.5m. In the live entertainment segment, revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was down 93.7 per cent year-on-year, at €6.8m.

CTS Eventim said more than 300,000 tickets have already been sold for the North American tour of veteran rock group Genesis, due to start in Chicago in November. It said sales are also recovering in Germany, both for medium-sized events and for top artists.

The Bremen-headquartered company added that despite the pressures imposed by more than a year of coronavirus restrictions, its financial foundations remain robust, as manifested by €666.8m in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter.

Normalised EBITDA came in at a loss of €19.6m compared to a profit of €13.5m in Q1 2020. Chief executive Klaus-Peter Schulenberg said “the focus is still on strict cost management and efficiency”, with the group noting that it has seen a 27-per-cent headcount drop compared to the start of last year. The decline is mainly due to a reduction in the number of employees in the live entertainment segment, in particular from temporary employees.

CTS Eventim noted that a recent survey it conducted showed that over 60 per cent of respondents would go to a live event straight away as soon as the authorities allow it.

“We’re already seeing a significant increase in demand for live events. People’s longing for shared cultural life is reflected immediately in ticket sales’, said Schulenberg.

“Up and down the country [Germany], the stage is set for the gradual opening of bars and restaurants, tourism and also the cultural sector. All this nurtures hopes that the days of no live culture, theatre or concerts are coming to an end.”