Live Nation posts 9.7% revenue gain

Concert giant's Q3 earnings show growth

Live Nation Entertainment saw a 9.7% year-to-year gain in revenue during the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the concert promotion, venue and ticketing giant announced Monday.

Overall revenue rose to $1.9 billion from nearly $1.8 billion in the third fiscal quarter of 2011. For the first nine months of 2012, revenue grew by 4.4% to $4.38 billion, up from nearly $4.2 billion a year earlier.

Concert revenue grew 11.7% to $1.4 billion, up from nearly $1.3 billion in the same quarter last year. Ticketing revenue rose a slimmer 3.7% to $346 million from $333.5 million in the third quarter of 2011. LNE’s management division, Artist Nation, saw revenue rise 5.4% to almost $128 million from $121.4 million in 2011’s Q3.

Overall, operating income slipped 0.6% to $202.4 million, down from $203.6 million in the same quarter last year. Concerts took a 60.5% hit, slipping to $19.1 million from $48.4 million in 2011’s third quarter.

However, thanks to robust ticketing and sponsorship numbers, operating income for the first nine months of 2012 climbed 23.2% to $104.7 million, up from $85 million in 2011.

LNE president-CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement: “For the quarter, global concert attendance is up 2%, and ticket sales for Ticketmaster increased 3%. We expect to have continued growth in ticket sales in the fourth quarter, as compared to last year, for both concerts and Ticketmaster. As a result, we currently anticipate growth across concerts, ticketing and sponsorship, and advertising for the fourth quarter and full year.”

LNE shares closed down 7¢ at $9.17 on the NYSE Monday. The stock’s 52-week high was $10.99.

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