In first-quarter 2019 earnings released today, Live Nation Entertainment’s revenue was up 17% to $1.7 billion, with an operating loss of $24 million and what the company says it is highest first-quarter adjusted operating income yet, at $115 million. Concerts and sponsorship segments drove this growth, according to the announcement, with both delivering record first quarter revenue and operating results.
The company also says it has booked enough concerts, sold enough tickets, and secured enough sponsorship commitments to expect that the company will deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the full year.
According to the announcement, nearly 15 million fans attended Live Nation concerts during the first quarter, up 22% year-on-year, led by our arena and theater shows which were each up over a million fans. As a result, revenue was up 27% and operating loss improved by 7%. Through mid-April, the company has sold over 49 million tickets for concerts this year, up 5% year-on-year.
The company’s sponsorship & advertising division, in what is typically its lowest activity quarter, saw revenue rise 1%, operating income up 3%, and AOI up 2%.
The company’s Ticketmaster division delivered its fourth highest transacted fee-bearing gross transaction value quarter. The announcement says, “While Ticketmaster was impacted in the quarter by a pull forward of onsales into the fourth quarter of 2018, by mid-March sales trends had turned around,” noting that through mid-April it has sold 4 million more concert tickets for shows this year than at the same time last year. It says that it expects Ticketmaster to deliver fee-bearing GTV, operating income, and AOI growth for the year.