Global Business Grows

UK media giant Global reported its annual earnings, which reveal that the group’s festival acquisition spree of 2016 has yet to show its “full financial impact.”

Global claims the year ending March 31, 2017, was its “eighth consecutive year of growth,” with an adjusted EBITDA of £77.8m ($105m), which marks a year-on-year increase of 4.4 per cent. The EBITDA margin fell form 27 per cent to 26 per cent.

Group revenues increased by 9.6 per cent to £302.6m ($410m), of which music festivals made up £11.7m ($15.8m), or 3.9 per cent.

Operating profit decreased by 14 per cent from £60.1m ($81m) to £51.6m ($70m). The group’s directors consider that the adjusted EBITDA figure “represents a key measure of the business performance as it demonstrates the underlying trading performance.”

Global, which owns the UK’s largest commercial radio stations, has been expanding its live entertainment portfolio for some time now, becoming the UK’s second largest festival promoter behind Live Nation in 2016.

The latest acquisitions are detailed in the group’s earnings report. They include the takeover of Count of Ten, which owned Y Not and Truck festivals, and the increase of its share capital of Broadwick Holdings Limited to 58.6 per cent in September 2016. Broadwick’s festival roster includes Electric Elephant, Snowbombing, Festival No. 6, The Bacardi Triangle, Standon Calling, Glass Butter Beach and Lost Village.

Since last year, Global also controls 80 per cent of The Hideout Festivals LLP – Hideout takes place on the Croatian island of Pag – and majorities in Lock ‘N’ Load Limited, Waxarch Limited, Victorious Festivals Limited, Lakeside Creative Limited and Moving Music Limited.

In his introduction to Global’s annual financial report, CFO Darren Singer wrote “the full financial impact of these acquisitions will be reflected in the Group’s 2017/18 financial results, because the majority of the acquired festivals took place before the Group had acquired the festival entities.”

The 2017 editions of two of Global’s UK festivals, Y Not in Derbyshire and Truck in Oxfordshire, were dampened by miserable weather conditions – a risk that was also addresses in the report: “The performance of festivals could be negatively impacted by poor weather which could result in less festival day revenues, due to lower attendance at the festival and festival attendees spending less time at the festival. The Group has tried to mitigate the risk by acquiring a portfolio of festivals which occur over a number of different dates.”

Global just announced the launch of its own awards show, the Global Awards. The first edition will go down at London’s Eventim Apollo on March 1. While the ceremony will feature “performances and special appearances from Sam Smith, Rita Ora, Kasabian, Martin Garrix, Andrea Bocelli and more,” there are no dedicated live music categories.