Live Nation revenue had double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2016, an indicator of fortunes later in the year. Quarterly revenue grew 10 percent at constant currency to $1.23 billion -- or $1.21 billion excluding exchange rate fluctuations -- according to company earnings released Tuesday afternoon (May 3). Net loss improved to $56.0 million from $66.5 million.
Its concerts division, the engine behind ticketing and sponsorship dollars, posted 12 percent revenue growth to $695.4 million and a $50.4 million operating loss. Ticketing had revenue of $412.5 million and $35.4 million in operating profit, the greatest amount of Live Nation’s four divisions. Ticketmaster’s secondary ticketing arm had a 43 percent increase in gross transaction value.
The high-margin sponsorships and advertising division had revenue of $58.8 million, up 13 percent, and $26.2 million in operating profit. Revenue at the Artist Nation management division fell three percent to $75.4 million, while its operating loss worsened 10 percent to $17.7 million.
The promoter believes a strong concert schedule will give it record annual revenue. Ticket sales for this year’s shows are 10 percent ahead of last year’s pace. It claims to have 21 of the top 25 global tours of the year, and through April had 13 percent more confirmed big venue shows -- stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters -- than last year. Among Live Nation’s big tours of 2016 are Guns N’ Roses, Beyoncé, Coldplay and Drake. In the first quarter, primary concert ticket sales increased to 41.2 million from 37.9 million, not including season seat packages and sales through venue box offices.
Live Nation shares were up 2.5 percent to $21.70 in after hours trading. The stock closed Tuesday down 0.9 percent amid equivalents drop across all major indices.