Cohen Plays Down Seatwave Problems

Seatwave chief Joe Cohen is playing down rumours that his ticketing company is in deep trouble and says the stories were probably started by competitors.

He said the secondary ticket-seller he started in 2006 has just had its best year and is expecting 2012 to be even better.

“Seatwave is one of 12 companies in the group and that’s doing well as a whole,” he said, dismissing filings made to Companies’ House that show it’s dropped euro 21.2 million ($27.5 million) in the last two years.

Having lost euro 15.1 million in 2009, the annual report for 2010 showed it was down by another euro 6.1 million.
The company’s lost euro 40 million since 2007 against the euro 38 million it’s raised.

Last year’s revenue was euro 9.3 million, slightly down on the euro 9.4 million it brought in the previous year.

The annual report for last year also says Seatwave’s investors had to stump up another $4 million for an emergency line of funding.

Speaking on the day the company rolled out a software kit that enables developers to sell tickets through their apps, Cohen told Pollstar the figures are “old” but acknowledged they are the latest available and were filed just prior to the Sept. 30 deadline.

This year, Seatwave reportedly was the victim of a euro 1.7 million fraud, which has resulted in an ongoing legal battle with former financial controller Keith Screene.  Screene was dismissed for failing to identify the fraud and has so far lost his case for unfair dismissal and the subsequent appeals.

It’s also parted company with chief ops officer Richard Hurd-Wood. There were rumours that Cohen himself was on the way out, although an article in The Independent Dec. 7 suggested he isn’t going anywhere soon.

With StubHub entering a UK secondary ticket market that already has strong competition from Viagogo and Ticketmaster’s Get Me In, Seatwave will need to have had a much better year than it did in 2010.