(UPDATED) Concert giant Live Nation Entertainment pared 4th quarter losses, bouyed by strong gains their eCommerce division, which helped to offset a decline in concert sales. According to Q4 financial statements for the 3 months and year ended December 31, 2011, Live Nation posted a Q4 loss of $66.7 million, down from the $86.1 million loss posted in the same period in 2012.
On the plus side, ticketing revenue was up by $18 million or 6% and Live Nation's continuing investment in eCommerce paid off with a 63% increase in revenue to $41 million against $25 million in Q4 2010.
Free cash as of December 31, 2011 was $334.5 million. Free cash flow was ($20.4) million for the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to ($12.9) million for the same period in 2010, and $203.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 as compared to $164.8 million for 2010.
Live Nation continues to face a challenging economic climate in the U.S. as well as AEG's new online ticketing system axs. Live Nation has continued to expand overseas, opening new divisions in recent months in a number of Asia/Pacific markets, including Australia, Japan and South Korea.
"In 2011 the company grew revenue and profitability across all business segments, achieving our financial objectives while investing in innovation and growth," said Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment. "Our adjusted operating income growth of 21% was achieved through improved execution, which also drove our free cash flow increase of 23% and an $82 million improvement in operating income for the year. This performance was delivered as we continued to strategically invest in our ticketing infrastructure, ecommerce and mobile platforms and the expansion of our concert portfolio globally. The past year has also reaffirmed the solid demand for live entertainment worldwide and the strength of our global platform serving artists, fans, teams, venues and advertisers."
"The concert business is off to a great start in 2012, driven by a solid early line-up of artists and healthy ticketing demand. We believe that the industry has stabilized and expect the overall market environment to be much the same in 2012, with the fan’s passion for our products mitigating any ongoing economic uncertainty. This year we plan to continue our focus on growing profitability with more concerts in the most attractive markets with great artists, growing our advertising network and investing in our consumer ecommerce and mobile ticketing platforms to enhance the fan experience on Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com. As a result, we believe we are well-positioned to build on the success of this past year, extend our market leadership and continue growing profitability in the year ahead." Rapino added. - from CelebrityAccess