MyTicket and Gigantic(.com) owner DEAG doubled its earnings in the first quarter of 2021 thanks in part to comprehensive insurance coverage.

According to a trading update, the Berlin-headquartered group brought in just €4.0m in sales during the three months to March 31. That figure was down 84 per cent compared to the €26.2m generated in the comparable period in 2020, which was only marginally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to €2.4m in the first quarter, up on the €1.2m profit in Q1 2020. It said the “solid result” was primarily due to its comprehensive insurance coverage and the extremely broad cost-cutting programme in the group.

DEAG also said it has taken advantage of subsidy programmes in all national markets and intends to submit further applications.

DEAG said it continues to view financial year 2021 as a transition year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but expects to achieve significant increases in sales and operating EBITDA in 2021 compared to 2020.

“In view of the vaccination situation that is developing positively in its core markets, DEAG anticipates an increasing recovery in business activity in Germany from the fourth quarter of 2021 on,” a DEAG spokesperson said in a statement.

“In the UK, the company’s most important secondary market, the company anticipates an increasing recovery in business activity as early as the third quarter of 2021 and in Switzerland as of the fourth quarter of 2021. DEAG expects to see its business activity return to a nearly normal level in 2022, also because the company succeeded in retaining nearly all of its employees during the pandemic.”

It has been an eventful first half of the year for the group, which delisted from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange shortly after the end of Q1 following plans announced in January. The move came after its largest single shareholder, Apeiron Investment Group, agreed to back its growth plans. Earlier this month, DEAG successfully placed a cash capital increase which generated €6.06m in fresh funds for M&A activities.

During the reporting period, DEAG acquired 75 per cent of the shares in the Danish promoter and producer CSB Island Entertainment and is now also present in Scandinavia. It said it expects positive synergy effects and growth impulses especially in the live entertainment business and for the ticketing business in Scandinavia.