Ticketmaster rips record revs 3rd qtr.

A strong portfolio of popular road shows and significant growth in its online ticketing operation helped Ticketmaster post record revenues for the third quarter of its fiscal year.

The ticketer’s revenues for the first nine months of its 1998 fiscal year were similarly impressive, with a 52.4% increase over the same period of fiscal 1997.

For the nine months ended Oct. 31, Ticketmaster posted revenues of $247.7 million, a 52.4% increase compared to the tally of $162.5 million in the year-ago period.

Ticketmaster, which moved 17.7 million ducats during the period ended Oct. 31, posted $89 million in revenues. The figure signaled a 42.3% increase over the $62.6 million tally logged during the same period last year, according to figures the company released Tuesday.

Ticketmaster’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization doubled to $15.4 million in the third quarter, compared to the $7.2 million tally in the third quarter of 1996.

“These results demonstrate the fundamental strength of the ticketing company and our related operations,” Fred Rosen, prexy-CEO of Ticketmaster, told Daily Variety. “It also reflects the first quarter, where sales of (concert tickets) were strong, thanks to tours by Garth Brooks, the Rolling Stones, Prince and others. There were also a lot of events people wanted to see.”

During the previous quarter that ended July 31, Ticketmaster’s revenues significantly rode on the backs of non-music live events such as stage shows, the circus, ice shows and other road shows.

Even without substantial contributions from the music side, the ticketer still was able to post record revenues in the second quarter.

Tickemaster logged $81.7 million in revenues during the second quarter, which ended July 31.

Operating income was $9.1 million in the third quarter, which was nearly double the $4.7 million in operating income in the year-ago period.

Pre-tax income quadrupled in the third quarter to $6.3 million, when compared to the $1.4 million (excluding a $3.2 million one-time gain) in the fiscal 1996 third quarter. Third-quarter net income was $3 million vs. $400,000 (excluding the one-time gain) in the same period last year.

Ticketmaster also achieved significant growth in its online ticketing operation, which bowed a year ago and has climbed to 280,000 tickets sold in the third quarter.

The boon from electronic commerce represents $10.7 million in sales for the ticketer’s coffers. Its recent pact with Intel to develop an advanced ticketing service that will provide interactive content to ticket buyers via their computers has yet to bear fruit, but is expected to significantly aid revenues of future quarters.

Earnings before taxes tripled to $38.7 million in the nine-month period compared to the $13.4 million in fiscal 1996.

Ticketmaster sold 51.2 million tickets in the first nine months, a 13% increase over the 45.3 million ticket tally registered in the year-ago period.

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