Comforting Figures For Eventim

UK Competition Commission deputy chairman Christopher Clarke and anyone else who is bothered about a Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger impacting the health of CTS Eventim may draw a crumb of comfort from its pre-tax earnings being 43 percent up on last year.

A trading announcement issued Nov. 10 shows the Bremen-based company’s high-margin Internet sales – 8.2 million tickets as of Sept. 30 and 47 percent up on last year – generated revenues of euro 95.7 million ($143.4 million), which is 34.5 percent higher then the first nine months of 2008.

Eventim portals logged 200 million visitors.

The live music sector increased revenues by 6 percent to euro 236.4 million and pre-tax earnings (EBIT) by 28.3 percent from euro 14.1 million to 18.1 million. Eventim’s live sector is made up of its share of the companies owned by promoters including Marek Lieberberg, Folkert Koopmans, Peter Rieger, Dirk Becker, Dieter Semmelmann and Norbert Link.

What’s apparently vexing the British monopoly authority is that a merged LN-TM might hinder Eventim’s entry into the UK. market. Those puzzled by this approach argue the German company is already in the UK market by virtue of the deal it signed with Live Nation at the end of 2007. It’s due to start supplying LN tickets in the UK as of Jan. 1.

The CC ruling seems to presume that the American company will sell Eventim short on the number of tickets it would supply, despite company chief Michael Rapino insisting he’ll honour the deal.

The British monopoly authority’s public concern for Eventim appears to have pleased the German stock market. Since it announced its provisional findings Oct. 8, Eventim’s shares have gone up a couple of euro on the Frankfurt exchange and are now euro 7 higher than when the Live Nation deal was signed.

Overall, the CTS Group saw revenues increase 12.9 percent year-on-year to euro 329.5 million, while the EBIT swelled 43 percent to euro 44.1 million.