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Live Nation Q2 Results: Concerts Drive Revenue as Sponsorships, Advertisements Add to Bottom Line

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According to the company's latest earnings call, revenue rose 12% to $1.9 billion, while operating loss dipped 13% to $48 million.

Live Nation's announced its second-quarter earnings on an Aug. 10 call painting a mostly healthy picture of the live entertainment giant.

In the quarter ended June 30, Live Nation's revenue rose 12 percent to $1.86 billion at constant currency. (All figures are reported at constant currency.) Operating income declined 13 percent to $48.4 million. The concerts division generated the most money but didn't add to the bottom line. Concert revenue in the quarter was $1.34 billion while operating loss was $4.3 million.

North American concert attendance counted 10.7 million fans from 4,332 concerts, an increase from 9.2 million fans from 4,019 concerts. International concert attendance, however, declined to 4.7 million from 5.2 million even though the number of concerts increased to 1,798 from 1,639.

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As expected, the ticketing division added significantly to the company's bottom line. Ticketmaster had revenue of $377.9 million -- 20.3 percent of total company revenue -- while contributing $37.9 million of operating profit. New revenue from the company's acquisition of secondary ticketing platform Seatwave in November would have helped the year-over-year improvement. Live Nation also acquired mobile ticketing platform Eventjoy in September, although it probably had no measurable impact on second-quarter results. 

The sponsorships and advertising division was the biggest contributor to Live Nation's Q2 P&L. The fast-growing division had revenue of $85.4 million, up 20 percent, and an operating profit of $57.9 million, up 23 percent. The number of tickets sold in the quarter was basically flat at 36.6 million, down slightly from 36.9 million.

Artist Nation revenue was $89.3 million, up 20 percent, and its operating loss was $16.6 million, slightly worse than the $9.5-million operating loss in the prior-year period.

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First-half numbers were on par with the prior-year period. Revenue of $3.04 billion was up 9 percent. Operating income was down 40 percent to $25.9 million. Total attendance was 24.1 million, up 2.8 percent, while the number of events rose 6.7 percent to 11,161.

Tickets sold in the first half of the year increased 1.3 percent to 74.5 million, and year-to-date ticket sales through July were up 7 percent. Mobile ticket sales were up 21 percent and accounted for 21 percent of first-half ticket sales. Resale ticketing performed especially well, with resale gross ticket value climbing 55 percent.  

Said Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in a statement: "Concerts are the flywheel for our high-margin on-site, advertising and ticketing businesses and this year we expect to deliver record operating results, increasing the revenue and profitability of each of these businesses."

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