United In Frustration

As the heads of Germany’s largest live music companies, they’re naturally fierce rivals, but DEAG chief Peter Schwenkow must be sharing CTS-Eventim executive chairman Klaus-Peter Schulenberg’s frustration over a stagnant German stock market.

Businessmen throughout the world are suffering on account of what look likes an upcoming global recession, but it’s particularly galling for Schwenkow and Schulenberg.

They’ve both been able to report the sort-of-good news that would normally be welcomed on the German markets, but they’re also having to put up with the fact that the glad tidings are having zero effect on their share prices – apart from knocking them down a few cents.

Eventim had a record-breaking 2007 despite not having the euro 5 million that the 2006 World Cup brought in. But clocking up an overall EBIT of euro 46.8 million – 2.4 percent up on the euro 45.7 million that it brought in last year – still left its stock in the doldrums at about euro 24.5.

If Schwenkow ever got a warm glow from his rival’s misfortune, it’s likely to have cooled when the market remained singularly unimpressed by his booming classical music division and his 2007 pre-tax profits for up 65 percent to a record-breaking euro 5.1 million.

DEAG’s classical music unit – Schwenkow’s pet project and his passion – is well-placed in the market due to the success of such acts as Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo, Rolando Villazón and the purchase of 75.1 percent of Raymond Gubbay Ltd., the U.K.’s premier classical promoter.

Gubbay’s company has annual revenues of about euro 10 million and Schwenkow is also expanding his classical business into Austria and Switzerland.

Although investors may not be so wary of that sort of success, compared with the rock ’n’ rollercoaster world of the contemporary live music business, they’re not exactly plunging in.

The share price stood at euro 1.55 when the Gubbay deal was announced, but five days later it had dropped to euro 1.44. The 2007 figures spiked the price back up to euro 1.55, but it soon slipped back to euro 1.46.

Since then it’s been like a yo-yo between the two, but at close of business April 30 it stood at what Schwenkow will hope is the bottom of another trough, at euro 1.49.