Net loss doubles to $17.6 mil

NEW YORK — SFX Entertainment’s net loss doubled to $17.6 million in the first quarter, SFX said Wednesday, despite sharply higher revenues flowing from the company’s spate of acquisitions in recent months.

Since being spun out of radio group SFX when that company was acquired by Capstar Broadcasting, SFX Entertainment chairman Robert Sillerman has gone on an acquisition binge to snap up live entertainment venues around the country. The company now claims 82 venues, including 16 amphitheaters in the top 10 markets.

As a result, cash flow — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — jumped to $22.8 million from $1.8 million in the first quarter of last year.

But interest costs trebled to $18.8 million, reflecting the higher debt load taken on to pay for many of the acquisitions. As a result, the bottom line loss increased sharply.

Adjusting for the timing of acquisitions, Sillerman said revenue rose 14% to $290.1 million.

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