After a dreary pandemic year for the live music business, concert giant Live Nation says it is now “seeing the pent-up demand for live events developing as artists and fans strive to reconnect personally”.
With live operations reopening alongside national immunization programs in markets such as the UK and US, this “backlog” of entertainment was highlighted in Live Nation’s newly released financial results for the three months ended June.
In an SEC filing released this week, the company reports that its revenue increased $ 501.9 million, or 677%, to $ 575.9 million in the second quarter of 2021, compared to $ 74.1 million in the second quarter of 2020.
Live Nation justifies its positive results in the second quarter with both strong ticket sales and sponsorship commitments for the year 2022, with the latter increasing in double digits compared to 2019.
Elsewhere, Live Nation saw concert revenues grow approximately $ 145 million, or 102% year over year, to $ 287 million in the second quarter, up from $ 141.8 million in the second quarter of 2020.
Live Nation reports that the number of events in the second quarter of 2021 was over 1,600, compared to about 100 events in the same quarter last year.
The number of fans rose from about 50,000 in Q2 2020 to 1.3 million in Q2 2020. According to Live Nation, that growth was primarily in the US and Asia Pacific.
Live Nation’s ticketing revenue increased $ 331 million in the second quarter, from a loss of $ 87 million in the second quarter of 2020 to $ 244 million in the second quarter of 2021 (see below).
This growth resulted from an increase in ticket sales, “higher prices” and a reduction in ticket refunds, according to Live Nation.
The company sold 30 million tickets (excluding refunds) in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 2 million tickets in the second quarter of last year, which were driven almost entirely by sales in the US primarily for concert and sporting events, Live Nation reports.
The number of tickets refunded decreased from 11 million in the 2nd quarter of 2020 to 4 million in the 2nd quarter of this year.
In a letter to shareholders, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino stated that June was the fourth best month in Ticketmaster North America’s history in terms of ticket volume.
This was partly due to Live Nation’s U.S. concert division putting the highest number of shows on sale in a single month, Rapino added, which was 50% more than the next month in March 2019.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, Live Nation had total cash holdings of $ 4 billionwhich includes $ 1.1 billion of free cash.
Live Nation says this is free cash along with $ 971 million the available debt capacity, gives the company $ 20.1 billion available liquidity.
The company assumes that this level of liquidity “provides the runway it needs, as it shows more returns”.
“We expect the ramp-up to accelerate further for the remainder of the year, with operating profit improving and all segments returning to adjusted operating profit profitability in the second half, preparing us for a full year 2022.”
Michael Rapino, Live Nation
Rapino wrote to shareholders this week: “In the US and UK we are seeing strong ticket sales and the restart of our concerts and festivals highlighted on past weekends by Lollapalooza and Rolling Loud in the US and Latitude in the UK hosts together one three quarters of a million fans.
“As vaccine adoption grows across Canada and Europe, we expect more markets to open up in the months ahead. The momentum for the return to live events is increasing month on month, with ticket sales and concert goers growing faster than expected, underscoring the strength and resilience of the concert business and live events in general.
“This progress, combined with our cost discipline, has enabled us to achieve positive adjusted operating income for the second quarter that is well above our expectations for the quarter.
“We expect the ramp-up to accelerate further for the remainder of the year, with operating income improving and all segments returning to adjusted operating profit profitability in the second half, preparing us for a full year 2022.”Music business worldwide