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CTS Eventim reports strong Q3 results

Live entertainment giant CTS Eventim has posted “encouraging” financial results for Q3 2021, powered by improved ticket sales.

The Munich-based pan-European promoter and ticketing company saw consolidated revenue rise by 279.2% to €114.7 million, compared with €30.2m in the same period last year. Revenue for 2021 to date fell 21.3% year-on-year to €180m, since Q1 2020 was barely affected by the pandemic.

Revenue from the company’s live entertainment segment soared by 351.2% to €55.7m in the third quarter of 2021 (up from €12.4m in the equivalent period last year), while ticketing surged 225.5% to €61m, compared with €18.7m in Q3 2020.

Ticket sales accelerated at the start of the second half of 2021, boosted by presales for tours by major international artists including Ed Sheeran, Genesis and Coldplay, as well as German rock act Udo Lindenberg.

Around 400,000 tickets have been sold for Sheeran’s German dates alone, the firm reports. However, the coronavirus situation meant the number of events was still down sharply compared with pre-pandemic levels.

We recorded an encouraging increase in revenue in the third quarter

“We recorded an encouraging increase in revenue in the third quarter,” says CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. “In recent months, we have also forged ahead with our international expansion plans and ensured that CTS Eventim is even better prepared for the future by launching new digital products.”

Normalised EBITDA was €105.4m compared to a loss of €17.7 million 12 months earlier. The firm attributes the turnaround to “cost savings, an improved operating business and the government aid programmes introduced in Germany and other countries”.

CTS received “extraordinary” Covid-19 financial aid from the German federal government for November and December 2020, with €102m in government funding awarded “to strengthen the result for the current financial year and the company’s liquidity”.

Last month, CTS strengthened its position in the access control market with the acquisition of software and hardware developer Simply-X, one of the leading providers of event management products in Germany. The firm also announced its expansion into the North American ticketing market in September.

At the time of writing, CTS’ share price was down 2.64% to €62.04.

 


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Eventim UK chairman to step down

CTS Eventim has announced that Nick Blackburn is stepping down from his post as chairman of Eventim UK on 30 September 2021.

Blackburn joined the British subsidiary of the pan-European live entertainment giant in June 2011, two years after it launched.

At the London-based ticketing company, Nick was responsible for Eventim’s business development in the UK and Ireland. He was previously chairman and CEO of See Tickets in the UK.

“I have enjoyed my time at Eventim which turned out to be longer than I originally expected,” says Nick Blackburn.

“I would not leave until there was a strong management structure in place which could take the company forward”

“I informed Klaus-Peter Schulenberg [CEO of CTS Eventim] of my intentions last March as by then I had introduced John Gibson and Martin Fitzgerald to the company, both now managing directors at Eventim UK, thus keeping my promise that I would not leave until there was a strong management structure in place which could take the company forward.

“I am now free to move on to consultancy work, to spend more time on an educational charity of which I am a trustee and complete some items in my bucket list especially in travel.”

Schulenberg added: “Over the past ten years, Nick has taken Eventim UK forward and strengthened its position in this important market. In addition, I would like to thank him for setting the course for the continued positive development of our company in the UK. I wish Nick all the best for his future.”

 


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CTS Eventim ‘optimally positioned’ for reopening

CTS Eventim’s Q2 financial results show that the company is “optimally positioned for the return of live entertainment,” according to CEO, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

In the period from April to June 2021, the Munich-based company’s revenue was up sharply compared with Q2 2020, primarily thanks to an uptick in ticket sales.

In the second quarter of 2021, ticketing revenue went up by 283.7%, from €9.4 million to €36.1m. Normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) amounted to €77.6m (previous year: loss of €18.2m). This included around €73m in German coronavirus support.

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, around 250 million tickets per annum were marketed using the company’s systems, which include online portals under brands such as eventim.de, oeticket.com, ticketcorner.ch, ticketone.it, and entradas.com.

The company’s live music revenue also improved in the second quarter of 2021, jumping by 81.5% year on year to €11.5m (previous year: €6.3m). Normalised EBITDA amounted to €21.4m (previous year: €1.9m). German coronavirus support contributed around €29m to earnings.

“Ticket sales are recovering, which confirms our view that people are yearning for live entertainment after the pandemic”

“Ticket sales are recovering, which confirms our view that people are yearning for live entertainment after a year and a half of the pandemic,” said Schulenberg. “However, politicians must set out a framework so that it is economically viable for events to be held again. The government support is very helpful but the industry wants to finally be able to earn its money by returning to work.”

He added: “CTS Eventim has taken the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to further strengthen and broaden its market position by undertaking a number of major strategic initiatives. Going forward, we will be better positioned than ever before, especially internationally, to be able to impress our customers with our services, industry expertise and technology in the live entertainment business.”

During the pandemic, the pan-European live entertainment giant continued the expansion of its Eventim Live promoter network, establishing the Gadget abc Entertainment Group in Switzerlandpartnering with legendary US promoter Michael Cohl, and acquiring a majority stake in the Barracuda Group in Austria.

In 2021, CTS acquired Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus, led by Matt Schwarz, taking the network up to 36 promoters in 15 countries.

The company recently announced plans to build a new €180 million arena in Milan, northern Italy.

 


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CTS Eventim bolstered by €102m government aid

CTS Eventim will receive “extraordinary” Covid-19 financial aid from the German federal government for the months of November and December 2020.

The Munich-based, pan-European live entertainment confirmed that it would be receiving €102 million in government funding “to strengthen the result for the current financial year and the company’s liquidity”.

The federal government set up financial aid in order to compensate companies, institutions and self-employed people for lost sales during the months in which Germany went into lockdown.

Grants of up to 75% of sales from November and December 2019 were granted proportionally for the number of days of closure during the same months in 2020.

The funding for CTS comes after the company reported that group revenue in 2020 fell by 82.2% year-on-year to €256.8m (2019: €1,443bn). Ticketing and live entertainment were the hardest hit.

“CTS is superbly positioned when live shows return to concert halls and our business revives”

Revenue in the company’s ticketing division for the whole of 2020 was 73.7% lower year-on-year, at €126.6m (2019: €481.6m).

In the live entertainment division, revenue in the whole of 2020 was 86.1% lower year-on-year, at €136.8m (2019: €985.8m).

Despite the sharp drop in sales during 2020, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim said the company is “superbly positioned when live shows return to concert halls and our business revives”.

“In view of the increasing availability of vaccines and rapid tests, and the progress of vaccination campaigns, there are good prospects that our industry can start getting back to normal over the next few months,” he added.

Throughout 2020, the company continued the international expansion of its Eventim Live promoter network, establishing the Gadget abc Entertainment Group in Switzerland, partnering with legendary US promoter Michael Cohl, and acquiring a majority stake in the Barracuda Group in Austria.

In 2021, CTS acquired Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus, led by Matt Schwarz, taking the network up to 36 promoters in 15 countries.

 


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Schulenberg predicts long haul to recovery

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg believes it will take the industry until late 2023 or 2024 to get back to the same levels of business that it enjoyed pre-Covid.

The founder and leader of CTS Eventim – Europe’s largest live entertainment group and second only globally to Live Nation – made the statement during his ILMC keynote interview with conference managing director Greg Parmley.

Schulenberg was responding to a question about consumer confidence in a post-pandemic world and revealed that his company’s research indicated that 80% of people would buy a ticket three months after the end of the pandemic. But that meant 20% of people that were surveyed would not be willing to buy a concert ticket. He observed that of the company’s record-breaking sales in 2019, 39% of ticket buyers across Europe were below the age of 34; 22% were aged 35-44; and the remaining 39% were aged 44 and older.

“Reopening is not recovery”

That problem prompted his assertion that artists and agents needed to understand that they should be more modest in their demands as the industry starts to recover. Indeed, he suggested that promoters should try to persuade the artists to share in the risk of a show. “The guarantee should go down,” he said, while acknowledging that such conversations did not always find a sympathetic ear.

“Reopening is not recovery,” he told ILMC delegates. “We are now looking at reopening, but recovery would mean that fans would come back at levels of 2019 and recovery would mean that people could attend a concert care-free.

“It will take until late 2023 or 2024 to get back to the levels of 2019,” he predicted, before revealing that show costs could rise by as much as 15-20% in the short term because of the effect of the pandemic and the fact that local costs will be much higher than they used to be.

“It will take until late 2023 or 2024 to get back to the levels of 2019”

“Look at the stagehands, look at the security, service companies for light and sound and maybe even the venues will try to make up their losses which they incurred in 2020 and probably 2021 as well,” he explained.

Elsewhere, Schulenberg said the adoption of 5G technology was something his company had been working on, as they could radically change the way shows work – citing fan to fan communication and fan to artist communication within a show as possibilities. “We want to stay as a technological leader, so we have been working on new tech and new features and I am pretty optimistic in this respect,” he commented.

He also opened the doors to collaborating with rivals Live Nation and others when it comes to improving the industry’s lobbying efforts with politicians and policymakers.

“I never take competition personally”

“I never take competition personally,” he said. “We are all in the same boat and I am a fan of good partnerships – that’s how we made our business and we welcome everybody to partner with us. It’s to all of our advantage.”

But he concluded that the industry needs to understand that having a strong voice requires expenditure, although he suggested that many companies are not ready to put their money where there mouths are. “We need professional associations and we have to know that professional associations are expensive – they cost money – and the industry must be willing to invest, but I think that’s a problem,” he observed.

 


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CTS Eventim acquires new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus

German ticketing and promotion giant CTS Eventim has acquired a majority stake in new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus.

DreamHaus will be led by Matt Schwarz as CEO and managing partner, following his departure from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) as COO and MD in February 2020.

From 1 April, Schwarz will be joined by former Live Nation GSA executive Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos, who joins the management team alongside Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla.

Schwarz joined forces with CTS Eventim as head of eventimpresents in January this year, tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Under the Eventim Live umbrella, DreamHaus will be responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, starting from the 2022 editions, along with eventimpresents.

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016.

“Even in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Eventim Live continues to grow its network and strengthen both its market position and potential,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim. “We have always claimed that CTS Eventim will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

“I am grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership”

Matt Schwarz added: “I’m very pleased about the partnership between CTS Eventim and DreamHaus, which offers our team all manner of opportunities for a successful future. I am also grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership and thus offering artists the best possible service and the ability to reach the greatest possible audience.”

With a combined attendance of 150,000, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park take place concurrently from 11 to 13 June at Nürburgring race track and Zeppelin Field in Nüremberg respectively.

Rock am Ring was founded by Marcel Avram and Marek Lieberberg’s Mama Concerts in 1985, while Rock im Park took place for the first time in 1995 under Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK).

Schwarz was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK, before becoming MD and COO of Live Nation GSA when Lieberberg sold MLK to Eventim’s live music subsidiary Medusa Group in 2015. Schwarz resigned his position at Live Nation GSA in February this year.

The acquisition of DreamHaus expands Eventim Live’s pan-European network to 35 promoters in 15 countries.

 


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Schulenberg urges gov to protect live industry

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg has urged the German authorities to put in place targeted measures to support the live music industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep the country” if action is not taken.

As reported in German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Musikwoche), Schulenberg believes that “a long-term announcement” from authorities regarding the fate music festivals, as well as extensions to the amount of time organisers have to issue refunds for cancelled or postponed events, are vital to maintain the health of the industry.

Although Eventim’s biggest festivals, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, promoted in conjunction with Live Nation, and FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, are insured against communicable disease, the CTS boss states that intervention from the authorities is needed to ensure cover for cancellations.

The German powerhouse has enjoyed a successful few years, reporting record revenue of €1.44 billion in the 2019 financial year and increasing earnings by 25%. Due to this success, Schulenberg says his company “could hold out for two years”.

However, many smaller industry players do not have the same safety net. “We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway,” says the Eventim boss.

“We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway”

In order to mitigate the financial losses incurred by promoters, Schulenberg is appealing to the German government to extend the period of time that organisers have to refund tickets to 30 September 2020. Promoters currently have until 30 June to return money to ticketholders and, even then, only companies with annual sales of less than €2 million.

“High sales at events are offset by a margin of only 5 to 7%,” says Schulenberg. The regulation must apply to the entire industry, otherwise “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep through the country”.

Alternative forms of compensating fans, such as by issuing vouchers for future events, rather than cash refunds, should also considered.

“That costs nothing to the state and is reasonable for the buyer,” says Schulenberg.

Eventim is currently among companies asking fans not to request refunds, following similar calls from German promoters’ association BDKV, Spanish music federation Esmúsica, UK ticketing industry body Star, the Dutch culture minister, DEAG-owned ticketer Myticket, and more.

In the Netherlands, the #idontwantmymoneyback initiative allows fans to indicate that they do not need a refund in a show of solidarity with event organisers.

 


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CTS boosts revenue, earnings for another record year

German live entertainment powerhouse CTS Eventim reported record revenue and earnings for the 2019 financial year.

Group revenue rose by 16.2% in 2019 to a total of €1.44 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also grew substantially, increasing 25.6% from €228.1 million in 2018 to €286.5m in 2019.

Ticketing and live entertainment both contributed to the growth, with live entertainment revenue increasing 21.3% to 985.8m – over €170m more than in 2018 – and ticketing growing 7.7% from the year before to €481.6m.

Earnings in both sectors saw strong growth, with EBITDA more than doubling in live entertainment, increasing from €32.3m in 2018 to €66.1m last year. In ticketing, EBITDA increased 12.6% to €220.4m.

The company puts its growth down to major tours by the likes of Ed Sheeran and to the activities of those in its fast-expanding Eventim Live promoter network, which has grown from an initial 26 promoters across 9 countries to 34 tour operators in 15 markets.

Most recently, Eventim partnered with global touring pioneer Michael Cohl, signalling its intention to expand outside of Europe.

“We continued to grow significantly over 2019, while at the same time enhancing our market position at both national and international level”

Improvements to the company’s ecommerce operations facilitated a 5.6% increase in the number of tickets sold by webshops operated by the CTS Group, with 57.3m tickets sold over the year.

“In 2019 we delivered impressive proof of the successfulness and profitability of our integrated business model comprising ticketing services, live entertainment and content,” comments CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

“We continued to grow significantly over 2019, while at the same time enhancing our market position at both national and international level. The venues we operate also showed encouraging growth and are among the best in the world.”

Eventim’s venue portfolio includes the 18,000-capacity Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the 22,000-capacity Waldbühne in Berlin and the 5,000-capacity Eventim Apollo in London.

“CTS Eventim has long been an integrated entertainment corporation that offers its customers a full and highly diversified range of live events,” adds Schulenberg. “The company is constantly developing and changing, adapting itself to the needs and requirements of new markets and a new age.”

The full CTS Eventim annual report will be published on 17 March 2020 and will be available for download here.

Photo: GEDANKENtanken GmbH/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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CTS goes global with Cohl partnership

CTS Eventim and veteran US concert promoter Michael Cohl have joined forces in a new partnership, as the European live entertainment powerhouse takes on global touring.

Both parties will hold 50% of the shares of the new company, which will be based in New York and headed up by Cohl and Glenn Orsher, CEO of Cohl’s production company S2BN Entertainment.

The deal marks the next step for CTS Eventim’s promoter network Eventim Live, which launched at last year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), as the network expands outside of Europe for the first time.

Cohl, a global touring pioneer and former chairman of Live Nation, brings his concert business and connections across North American to the partnership, while CTS will provide full access to its ticketing platforms and Eventim Live network, which now comprises 32 promoters in 13 countries.

CTS Eventim and Michael Cohl have joined forces in a new partnership, as the European live entertainment powerhouse takes on global touring

Known for paving the way for global touring as we know it today, Cohl spent a reported US$60 million on the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Tour in 1989 and went on to promote tours for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, U2, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand.

Cohl has also lent his hand to theatre, producing Broadway shows including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Lion King, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, The Producers and Bombay Dreams.

The veteran promoter and producer joined ‘cannabis culture’ brand Civilized Worldwide in 2018 as a board member and investor.

Eventim, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has quietly evolved into a live entertainment powerhouse over the past three decades with CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg at its head. In the past year, the company has added numerous promoters to its Eventim Live network and acquired a stake in Fnac Darty’s France Billet.

 


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CTS Eventim shares up 60% in 2019

German entertainment behemoth CTS Eventim has enjoyed a profitable 2019 so far, with the creation of promoter network Eventim Live and expansion of online ticket sales driving “significant growth” in live entertainment and ticketing respectively.

The company’s share price has risen by 61.5% since January, climbing from €33.8 to to €54.6, following a “successful” first half of the year and strong third quarter results. Earlier this month, Eventim traded at an all-time high of €55.5.

At the time of writing, the company’s market capitalisation sat at €5.2 billion, a significant increase from the €3.9bn recorded in the first half of 2019, indicating an acceleration of growth as the year has progressed.

Group revenue surpassed €1bn for the first time in a nine-month period, up 16.5% from the same period in 2018 to €1.1bn. Normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) also saw an increase from the previous year, rising 26.5% to €177m.

According to Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, the company has “significantly improved” its online ticketing volume in 2019. The company has sold 36.8m tickets through its online channels so far this year – a 9.2% increase year-on-year – which has helped drive ticketing revenue up by 11% to €306.9m.

“Our aim is to offer international tour opportunities to artists from all over the world”

Schulenberg adds that the increasing number of tickets sales through digital channels “has positive and long-term impacts” for the company.

Live entertainment revenue “exceeded expectations” rising 19% to €781.4m, whereas normalised EBITDA grew “disproportionately” by 52.7% from the first nine months of 2018, reaching €57.8m. Eventim puts the growth down to “major tours” put on by Eventim Live promoters in Germany, as well as by newly acquired promoters abroad.

Russian promoter Talent Concert International (TCI) was the most recent addition to the pan-European promoter network, with Austria’s Barracuda Music potentially joining in the near future.

“CTS Eventim is on course to achieve the targets for the 2019 financial year,” comments Schulenberg. “The establishment of our promoter network, Eventim Live, is opening up additional avenues for us in the [live entertainment] field. Our aim is to offer international tour opportunities to artists from all over the world.”

The CTS boss adds that “by taking a stake in France’s market leader, France Billet, we have also achieved a major and strategic step forward in the ticketing segment. In this way, CTS Eventim is extending and reinforcing its market position in a commercially attractive and culturally diversified market.”

Read IQ‘s anniversary feature on 30 years of CTS Eventim below.

Deutsche Courage: The rise and rise of CTS Eventim


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