Live Nation revealed double-digit growth in operating income and adjusted operating income in its second quarter financial results on Thursday (July 26). With the financial quarter ending on June 30, 2018, the international promoter saw operating income increase by 19 percent to $135 million and 18 percent for adjusted operating income over last year.
“We have built the industry’s most scalable and unparalleled live platform, bringing over 550 million fans in 40 countries to live events each year,” said Live Nation President Michael Rapino in a release. “With our key metrics in concerts, sponsorship and ticketing all pacing ahead of last year, we are confident that in 2018 we will again deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the company.”
The company also saw revenue reach nearly $2.9 billion through concerts, sponsorship and advertising, and ticketing for a 7 percent increase over 2017.
Through July, the report concludes that Live Nation sold approximately 70 million tickets, which outpaces last year by 3 million. The company estimates over 90 million fans will attend their concerts in 2018 alone.
“We have a lot of capacity left on our balance sheet, but at the end of the day, most things we’re looking to buy are going to be creative because they’re down the center field of our core business,” Rapino said on today’s earnings call outlining the report.
He added: “Whether we buy a festival in Milan or a promoter in South Africa, we’re bringing instant revenue and AOI to that business from our tickets, sponsorship and content pipe. We continue to see growth both global and in the U.S. and our current balance sheet can continue to power that growth.”
Dynamic pricing is also a key factor in the company’s growth. Live Nation anticipates delivering a $500 million increase in revenue this year with the steady increase of ticket prices.
For their ticketing business, Ticketmaster has seen an 11 percent spike in gross transaction value (GTV) on fee-bearing tickets. As a result, for the quarter, Ticketmaster’s operating income was up 12 percent, AOI was up 15 percent and revenue was up 13 percent.
“At its core, Ticketmaster continues to be the most effective ticketing platform in the world, with the technology to service venues, sports teams and artists, and with the marketplace to attract and convert ticket buyers,” the release reads.
Through June, Ticketmaster saw a 16 percent increase in events listed on the ticketing site for a total of 280,000 events.
The company’s sponsorship and advertising division has also seen growth over the year. Operating income, AOI and revenue are all up by double digits through added relationships with American Eagle, General Mills, and Remy Martin.
“The strength of our platform and our ability to provide direct engagement with our 90 million fans has enabled us to continue building relationships with strategic brands that have driven much of our growth,” the release reads.
Revenue per fan at European festivals in particular is up 12 percent for the international company which forecasts double-digit sponsorship growth with 90 percent of its planned net revenue committed for the year.
“Each of our businesses is contributing to this success, as we put on more concerts for a greater numbers of fans, continue to monetize fans who come to the shows, sell more tickets to events of all types and further demonstrate the value of over 90 million fans to sponsors,” Rapino summarized in the release.
During the company’s earnings call, Rapino did not address rumors about a possible acquisition by SiriusXM. The speculation around Liberty Media (which owns 70 percent of SiriusXM stock) purchasing the live event giant was not brought up during the Q&A session of the call despite a new report from media and tech analyst Brandon Ross of BTIG.
Ross suggested the Liberty Media buyout would be part of a larger roll-up that could include acquiring iHeartMedia out of bankruptcy and installing Rapino to run the whole show.
Earlier Thursday, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer dismissed the speculation of any kind of merger with Live Nation.
“I don’t have any comment on Live Nation. I don’t even know where that speculation is coming from. It’s not coming from SiriusXM,” Meyer said during an analyst call on Wednesday, following the release of the SiriusXM’s second-quarter earnings.
This article first appeared on Billboard.