Live Nation hit the ground running in the first quarter of 2019, with strong gains in revenue and adjusted operating income for the period. First quarter financial filings show revenue of $1.7 Billion, up 17% from the same period in 2018.
During the same period, they recorded record adjusted operating income of $115 million, and are on track to deliver double-digit AOI growth for upcoming quarters, and the full year, the company said.
The company concert division reported that 15 million fans attend Live Nation concerts in the first quarter, up 22% year-on-year. Live Nation attributed the growth primarily to arena and theater shows which were each up over a million fans.
The concert division also shifted it’s adjusted operating income from the red of Q1 2018, when it recorded a loss of $15.6 million to black with a gain of $5.4 for the quarter in 2019.
Live Nation also touted the shift to “market-based pricing” including growing the use of platinum tickets. The company cited its front of house tickets at amphitheaters, which saw prices rise by 30% over the past two years without “pullback” from fans.
“Even with this improved pricing, we’re not seeing any pullback in demand for concerts as sell-through rates continue to be strong globally — across arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums, and from the best seats in the front to the lawn seats at our amphitheaters,” Live Nation said in its earnings release.
Live Nation’s sponsorship division reported that revenue and AOI improved slightly year-over-year, up by 1% and 2% respectively for the quarter. The company boasted of new long-term sponsorship partnerships with Verizon, in the U.S., Rogers Communications in Canada, and Diageo in Europe.
Live Nation’s ticketing division reported their fourth-highest fee-bearing gross transaction value (GTV) quarter in the company’s history, though revenue for the quarter slipped by 9% to $337.6 million for the quarter. AOI slid as well, falling to $100.4 million, a loss of 17% from Q1 2018.
“We are pleased with our first quarter results as a start to what we expect to be another year of growth in 2019. All of our key indicators speak to continued strong consumer demand for our concerts — our attendance growth in the first quarter, acceptance of market pricing, and solid sales for upcoming shows,” said Live Nation President & CEO Michael Rapino.
“As a result, we expect an acceleration of our growth in the second quarter, with overall operating income and AOI increasing in the high teens and each segment to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the quarter,” Rapino added.