CTS Profits Up 40 Percent

Bremen-based European ticketing giant CTS Eventim is about to confirm that 2006 was the best year it’s had, with profits up nearly 40 percent.

The preliminary business report has earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 39.6 percent, from euro 32.7 million to euro 45.7 million, with the EBITDA figures – which include depreciation and amortization – up 38.9 percent, from euro 37.5 million to euro 52 million.

Annual turnover was up 33.9 percent, from euro 256.2 million to euro 343 million, easily making it the best year the company has had since it launched on the stock exchange (SDAX) at the beginning of 2000.

The report attributes the massive profit boost to a 50 percent increase in Internet sales (5.3 million), the revenues from being the official ticket supplier for the 2006 World Cup soccer and some successful tours with top international acts.

It’s also beginning to reap the benefit from buying into a Swiss promoter (Act Entertainment) and a Swiss ticketing company (TicTec AG), and the December acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Zritel o.o.o., Russia’s biggest private ticket provider.

Moscow-based Zritel operates the Parter and Kontramarka ticketing platforms and currently generates revenues of about euro 3.8 million per year.

Eventim’s core ticketing business had a 54.5 percent increase in sales from euro 64.3 million to euro 99.3 million, earning euro 36.7 million before tax, interest and depreciation and amortization – 55.5 percent up on the 2005 figure of euro 23.6 million.

More than 136 million music and event fans visited the group various Web sites, a 36 percent increase on last year’s 100 million.

In January, CTS launched its new fansale.de site, a ticket exchange and resale site that chief exec Klaus-Peter Schulenberg expects to be "profitable in the extreme."

It’s predicted to have a sales volume somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 in its first year, producing revenues between euro 5 million and euro 7 million.

The Medusa Group, the company’s live music sector that was recently nominated for nine German Live Entertainment Awards and won four of them, had a 27 percent increase in sales from euro 194.6 million to euro 247.3 million.

The EBITDA earnings for the companies run by Folkert Koopmans (two LEA awards: best club tour and best musical) Marek Lieberberg (best promoter), Peter Rieger (best arena tour), Dirk Becker and Dieter Semmelmann were up 10.7 percent, from euro 13.9 million to euro 15.4 million, even allowing for the fact that euro 3.5 million has already been shelled out on upcoming tours.

The Medusa promoters had a busy year, with revenues up 27 percent, from euro 194.6 million to euro 247.3 million.

CTS expects to publish the final figures at the end of March, along with statements on the earnings per share and a dividend proposal.