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DEAG sets out ambitious growth strategy for 2023

In the company's H1 results, the German behemoth reveals its full-year targets, M&A strategy and new co-CEO

By Lisa Henderson on 31 Aug 2023

Detlef Kornett becomes DEAG's new co-CEO

Detlef Kornett becomes DEAG's new co-CEO

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has set out ambitious expansion plans for 2023 in the company’s H1 financial results.

The German-headquartered live entertainment group is aiming to generate revenue of over €300 million (compared to €325m in 2022) and a further improved EBITDA compared to the previous year (€30.9m).

Throughout the ongoing fiscal year, DEAG plans to stage approximately 6,000 events across its key European markets and sell 10 million tickets (compared to nine million in the previous year).

These aims will be bolstered by the restart of DEAG’s M&A activities in the second half of 2023. The company says it currently has “several acquisitions in advanced stages of negotiation”.

In today’s H1 2023 results, DEAG says it is on track to achieve these full-year targets. Revenue in the first half of the year was at around €123m, compared to €133.4m in the previous year and €63.9m in the pre-corona year 2019.

EBITDA was over €5m, compared to €10.1m in the same period of last year – though DEAG notes that its major tours and festivals are primarily scheduled for the third quarter.

“We are leading our company into a new, exciting era that will be characterised by profitable growth”

Explaining 2023’s lower H1 results compared with 2022, the company says figures from the prior year still reflected rebound effects stemming from the pandemic, financial support from European funding programs, alongside significant events and tours in the second quarter of 2022.

The company’s results also reveal a shuffle on the executive board, with Detlef Kornett becoming a co-CEO alongside founder and CEO Peter Schwenkow.

Kornett, who has been a board member since 2014, will continue to head off international business affairs and marketing at DEAG and, together with Schwenkow, oversee corporate strategy and drive further growth.

“We are excellently positioned and will continue the dynamic growth of previous years”

Elsewhere, David Reinecke will take on the position of chief financial officer, effective 1 October. He succeeds Roman Velke who has worked at the company for five years, and who will continue to support DEAG in an advisory capacity.

Reinecke brings to the role global management experience in finance, particularly in capital markets and investor relations, garnered from his previous roles across cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, and Munich. His most recent position was director of corporate finance and CFO at the German bank N26.

Other board members include Christian Diekmann who is responsible for the business in Germany and leads the expansion of the Christmas Garden, and Moritz Schwenkow who is responsible for ticketing and technology.

“Just in time for DEAG’s 45th anniversary, we are leading our company into a new, exciting era that will be characterised by profitable growth as well as innovation and expansion into European markets and ticketing,” says Schwenkow.

“I am very pleased that the supervisory board has agreed to my personal request to expand Detlef Kornett’s position to the role of co-CEO. I welcome David Reinecke as the new CFO and at the same time thank – also on behalf of the supervisory board – Roman Velke for his excellent work and great commitment over the past years. We will use the combination of a competent team, excellent business and attractive market opportunities to fuel DEAG’s further growth momentum.”

Kornett adds: “DEAG has already founded around 20 new companies or successfully integrated them after acquisitions in recent years. We want to continue our successful track record in our M&A activities, with a focus on further expansion into new European markets as well as acquisitions to expand our ticketing platforms. As one of Europe’s leading live entertainment providers, we are excellently positioned and will continue the dynamic growth of previous years.”

In the first half of this fiscal year, DEAG organised events such as Disney on Ice and Riverdance as well as concerts and tours with Sam Fender, Limp Bizkit, Rod Stewart, The Who, Iron Maiden and Kiss, among other artists.

The company also had a strong festival summer with open-air events in the genres EDM, classics & jazz and rock/pop and welcomed more than 800,000 visitors to its festivals between late June and early September.


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