Live Nation posted a strong first quarter of 2018, according to its earnings report, with revenue up 19% to nearly $1.5 billion over nearly 4,900 shows, a 22% rise over 2017. Meanwhile, its Ticketmaster division had the largest quarter in its history, transacting nearly 60 million tickets.
“We have now booked enough concerts, sold enough tickets and have enough sponsorship commitments to be confident that we will have a successful 2018, delivering double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the year. We continue to benefit from a global concerts industry that is structurally growing, with strong tailwinds for both supply and demand,” said CEO Michael Rapino in announcing the results.
Highlights for the quarter, according to the announcement, included:
*Adjusted operating income up 24% for the quarter to $114 million;
*The company promoted 22% more shows for 15% more fans globally in the quarter;
*48 million tickets sold to date, representing a 5% increase from 2017;
*Through pricing optimization, the average ticket price up double digits across amphitheaters, area and stadium tickets to date in 2018;
*Average spend per fan at amphitheaters expected to grow by at least $2.50 this summer, which Rapino attributes to “enhancing our VIP offerings, adding points of sale and improving product selection”;
*Acquired the Rock in Rio festival, expanding reach in South America;
*80% planned advertising and sponsorship revenue for the year committed
Rapino concluded: “2018 is on track to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth along with expected strong gains in revenue, operating cash flow, and free cash flow. Our key leading indicators for our concerts, sponsorship & advertising and ticketing segments are ahead of last year, and we currently expect each of our businesses to deliver record revenue, operating income, and AOI this year.”