Over the last few quarters, Live Nation has started to feel like a solid business driven less by the touring whims of major artists and more by solid growth across three divisions - concerts, advertising, and ticketing. That Live Nation can achieve this amplifies Robert Sillerman's failures at SFX.
Live Nation stock up 11% in after hours trading
Live Nation Entertainment reported strong growth in its second fiscal quarter, with revenue for the period up by 23% from last year. The company aslo reported strong improvements in revenue for the quarter, with operating income up by 76%, adjusted operating income (AOI) up 28%, and free cash flow up 22%.
According to the company, three key divisions concerts, advertising, and ticketing - contributed to the strong performance, with revenue and adjusted operating income up double digits in each business.
Wall Street rewarded the report, pushing Live Nation stock up 11% in after hours trading.
Live Nation's concert business grew revenue in the second quarter by 26% operating income by $25 million and AOI by 61% on the strength of an 18% increase in confirmed stadium, arena and amphitheater show count for the year, as well as an expanded festival and club presence. In the past quarter the company added The Governors Ball Music Festival in New York, Parklife Festival outside London, and secured the long-term management of the Palais Theatre in Melbourne.
On the ticketing front revenue improved by 23% against the same period in 2015, while operating income grew by 28%. The company attributed the growth to improvements in its technology and key partnerships with companies such as Facebook, BandsinTown and Broadway.com, as well as continued client growth.
Sponsorship and advertising continued to improve for Live Nation in Q2, with revenue up by 17% and AOI improving for the quarter by 12%.
Artist Nation, Live Nation's artist management unit continued to drag on results, with revenue for the quarter down 1% from Q2 2016, while operating income and AOI were up by 2% and 44% respectively, but still a net loss for the division.
500 million fans in 40 countries
"We have built the industry's most scalable and unparalleled live platform, bringing over 500 million fans in 40 countries to live events each year. With concert and ticketing sales running well ahead of last year, we are confident that 2016 will be another record year of results for Live Nation overall and for each of our core divisions," Live Nation President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Rapino said in a release announcing the results.