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LN reports strong start to 2019, Q1 revenue up 17%

Concerts and sponsorship drive growth for Live Nation, delivering record Q1 revenue and operating results, as the company continues to benefit from healthy concerts biz

By Anna Grace on 03 May 2019

Live Nation Q2 results

Michael Rapino

Live Nation’s first quarter earnings show 2019 is off to a strong start, following the company’s eighth consecutive year of record annual results in 2018.

In the first quarter of 2019, revenue was up 17% to US$1.7 billion in comparison to Q1 2018 and adjusted operating income (AOI) was at its the highest-ever for a first quarter at $115 million. The entertainment behemoth ran at an operating loss of $24m.

Live Nation states that its concerts segment is the “engine that powers the overall growth” of the company. Almost 15 millions fans attended Live Nation concerts during Q1, up 22% year-on-year. As of mid-April, the company had sold over 49m tickets so far this year, up 5% from Q1 2018.

The company’s arena and theatre shows led this growth, each up over a million fans. Concerts revenue was up 27% and operating loss for the segment improved by 7%. Live Nation notes that demand has not diminished despite an increase in pricing of 30% over the past two years at arena and amphitheatre shows.

“We expect that Live Nation will deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the full year”

Ticketing revenue was down 9% from Q1 2018, although Ticketmaster delivered its fourth highest gross transaction value quarter ever. Live Nation puts the decrease down to the moving forward of on sales to Q4 2018. By mid April, Ticketmaster had sold four million more concert tickets for 2019 shows than at the same time last year.

Typically the “lowest activity quarter for sponsorship”, sponsorship revenue increased by 1%, operating income by 3% and AOI by 2%. The company expects growth in this area to be driven by festival and strategic partners, including Rogers Communications in Canada and Diageo in Europe.

“We are pleased with our first quarter results as a start to what we expect to be another year of growth in 2019,” says Live Nation chief executive, Michael Rapino.

Rapino predicts further acceleration of growth in Q2. “With the combination of this near-term view plus concert ticket sales for the year, sponsorship commitments, and the continued success of the Ticketmaster platform, we expect that Live Nation will deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the full year,” says the Live Nation boss.


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