Medusa Solidifies CTS Record

The preliminary figures indicate that German ticketer CTS Eventim had a record-breaking 2007 despite going without the euro 5 million the 2006 World Cup brought in.

Without the soccer money, the ticketing sector’s earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) were 11.9 percent down at euro 26.3 million. But Medusa Group, the collective of German promoters that Eventim co-owns, more than made good for the euro 4.8 million drop by producing a 40 percent increase in pre-tax and interest profits that has brought in close to an extra euro 6 million.

That tilted the scales just enough for the Eventim group of companies to record an overall EBIT of euro 46.8 million, 2.4 percent up on the euro 45.7 million it brought in last year.

Throughout 2007 the quarterly figures suggested the companies run by Dirk Becker, Folkert Koopmans, Marek Lieberberg, Peter Pracht, Peter Rieger and Dieter Semmelmann were doing well enough to cover about four-fifths of the World Cup deficit, but the final result shows they’ve clawed back the lot with nearly a million euros to spare.

The loss of the soccer income is actually more than double the euro 5 million the figures suggest, as the ticketing business – ignoring all World Cup sales – made more than euro 6 million more than the year before.

Medusa looks to be in a strong position to do even better in 2008 as the amount of money it has laid out in deposits and the prep costs for the Tutankhamun exhibition that Semmel Concerts was due to unwrap in Zurich March 7 add up to euro 1.5 million more than it had paid upfront at this stage last year.

In 2007 the live business generated euro 301.3 million in revenues, 21.9 percent up on the euro 247.2 million it produced the year before.

The statement announcing the preliminary figures also points to the "strategic alliance" with Live Nation as another likely money-spinner for Eventim in 2008.

Unfortunately for Eventim the news of the record-breaking figures has had no more effect on the share price than the original announcement of that LN deal, leaving the stock trading at least euro 10 lower than its mid-2007 price.

The shares stood at euro 36.28 until a July 10 report from analysts at SES Research, which said it was "The Completely Wrong Price," saw it tumble to euro 26.55 within a month. It closed at euro 25.11 March 11.

A very flat German market means any short-term improvement is unlikely.