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Michael Rapino is ecstatic, as you can see.
LIVE NATION Q1 REVENUE UP 10%

Revenue at Live Nation— $695.4m in constant currency— was up 10% in the first quarter as ticket sales, sponsorship and advertising all showed year-to-year increases.  

Adjusted operating income was up 7% despite concerts taking a $14m loss in the quarter. Sponsorship and ticketing revenues helped push the quarter into the black, according to figures released Tuesday. Revenue in sponsorship and advertising was up 13% to $58.8m in the quarter.

Ticket sales are pacing 10% ahead of 2015 with more than 35m tickets sold this year as the company is already looking at 13% increase over last year in the number of shows booked. The company sold 41.2m tickets in the quarter, up from 37.9m in 2015.

“Along with attendance growth, we expect to continue growing our high-margin on-site revenue this year as we more effectively target specific customer segments with new product offerings, notably at the high end, and with our upgraded Live Nation app that will enable ordering from the seats at many of our amphitheaters,” Live Nation Entertainment President and CEO Michael Rapino said in announcing the first quarter results.

Ticketing was up 10% to $412.5m while Ticketmaster, up 18% in gross transaction value, saw secondary ticketing spike 43%. The company had a record February, selling 17m tickets globally. Mobile ticket sales were up 39% and now represent a quarter of all tickets sold.

Live Nation stock was down $.21 Tuesday to $21.69. Analysts have been bullish on the company of late, predicting a target stock price of as much as $34 per share.

Rapino sent the following memo to his troops:

Team,

Today we announced our Q1 financial results and 2016 is off to an incredible start with revenue up 10% and AOI up 7% on a constant currency basis for the quarter. Most importantly, all indicators point to another record year for our company, with concerts, advertising and ticketing poised to deliver extremely strong results. Highlights below:

Concerts:  This summer, Live Nation will promote 21 of the top 25 global tours including some of the biggest acts in the world: Beyoncé, Coldplay, Guns N Roses, Rihanna, Drake, Dixie Chicks, Gwen Stefani and Luke Bryan and driving a 13% increase in confirmed stadium, arena and amphitheater shows for the year. On the Festival front, we have grown our unparalleled portfolio to 78 festivals and 7 million fans worldwide with the acquisitions of both Founders Entertainment/Governor’s Ball and Big Concerts in South Africa.

Sponsorship: Through April, we have sold over 70% of our expected sponsorship and advertising for the year, positioning us for another year of double-digit growth. Contributing to this success is our expanded content production and distribution ecosystem which continues to bring brands together with fans and artists is new ways and complements our core live business by driving massive awareness for tours.

Ticketing: Both primary and secondary ticketing were up this quarter, at 16% and 43% respectively, signaling a robust ticketing business in the years to come. This quarter also marked the exciting rollout of our open marketplace strategy, with our first fully functional API integration with Bandsintown and Facebook, allowing our users to search for ticket inventory directly without leaving the app or website.

I’m extremely proud of the work you’ve all done to get us here.  Not only are we continuing to deliver on our core businesses, we are innovating on each and positioning Live Nation for the future. Thank you again for all you do.

Best,

Michael

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