LN Shows Gains In 2Q

Live Nation posted increases in revenue and profit for the second quarter, the company announced August 4th.

The company reported revenues of $768.2 million, an increase of $26.5 million or 4 percent, compared to the same period last year. Included in revenue is a $2.5 million increase due to movements in foreign exchange.

Net income increased by $8.7 million to $9.7 million in 2Q, with operating income for the quarter decreasing by $3.6 million to $11.7 million.

Operating income before depreciation, amortization, sale of assets and non-cash compensation, or OIBDAN, fell from the same period last year, from $30.6 million to $27 million.

Live Nation cites a vendor bankruptcy, increased marketing costs and general administrative expenses arising from the Mean Fiddler acquisition in the U.K. last year for its $1.5 million decline in income for its Events operation. During a conference call, chief financial official Alan Ridgeway said the vendor bankruptcy involved an unnamed DVD distributor.

Venues and sponsorship revenue rose 6 percent, events revenue increased $17.9 million or 3 percent and digital distribution showed the sharpest spike with a 16 percent increase over the same period last year.

“During the quarter we continued to make significant progress in the implementation of our strategic plan,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement. “An environment of transformation has begun in 2006 as we execute against our newly defined core business.

“We have a clear strategic focus which has resulted in an expansion of our core live music business and the divestiture of a number of non-core businesses.”

Since being spun off by Clear Channel Entertainment as a stand-alone corporation, Live Nation has shed its sports agency business, its entire interest in Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and 49.9 percent of its interest in the “Phantom of the Opera” production in that city with $22.9 million proceeds from the sale.

In addition, it has announced acquisitions of Concert Productions International, House of Blues Entertainment, artist and fan club portal Musictoday, and high-end merchandiser Trunk, Ltd. in recent months.

“We are implementing a range of programs to drive revenues and cash flows and have added strategic acquisitions that expand our fan and artist relationships,” Rapino said. “We remain driven by our focus on vertically integrating our business toward the fan by expanding and improving upon the services we provide to our customers before, during and after the events we promote or produce each year.

“We are pleased with the trends we are seeing in the third quarter, which is the most important season in our industry, and we are optimistic that we will gradually begin to witness the benefits of our investments as the year progresses.”