Eventim Rewards Backers

Although it’s still not clear where CTS Eventim would stand if Live Nation and Ticketmaster were allowed to merge, the German ticketing giant is rewarding its backers by upping their annual dividend to euro 0.61 per share.

Eventim chairman and chief exec Klaus Peter Schulenberg and Live Nation head Michael Rapino have both said the 10-year deal between the two companies will continue. But, as one ILMC delegate remarked at this year’s conference, it’s hard to see how LN can keep “two wives under one roof.”

The uncertainty of the situation has been an unexpected boost to the Munich-based company’s share price, which has gone from about euro 18 to euro 23.1 since the beginning of March.

The dividend, which will involve paying out euro 14.6 million, was announced on the back of 2008 trading figures that showed pre-tax earnings (EBIT) up 6.8 percent to euro 50.3 million and consolidated net income up 27 percent to euro 29.2 million.

Eventim’s management and supervisory boards will propose the annual dividend, which is the fourth it’s paid in succession and is significantly up on the euro 11.8 million it paid in 2008, at the May 14 shareholders’ meeting.

Eventim says it is continuing to show it’s capable of strong growth, which looks to be backed up by revenues increasing 5.2 percent from euro 384.4 million to euro 404.4 million.

It’s also confident of sustaining it and points to a 2009 diary that already has tours with Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Pink, AC/DC, and Coldplay.
The annual report, which will detail what Eventim’s ticket selling and promoting sectors contributed to the 2008 results, will be available March 31.

The preliminary results suggested the ticketing business, which sold more than 70 million tickets in 2008, would more than compensate for the promoters (the Medusa Group) struggling to match 2007’s record-breaking results.

Revenues for the Medusa Group, the collection of live music promoters that includes Marek Lieberberg, Folkert Koopmans, Dirk Becker, Peter Rieger and Peter Pracht, were estimated to be around 3 percent down on 2007 because it ran fewer tours in 2008.