Deutsche Entertainment Aktiengesellschaft (DEAG) has set new records in its financial year 2022, according to the live entertainment company’s earnings statement.
According to preliminary figures, revenues rose by 258% to €325 million ($350 million), compared to €90.7 million in the previous year and €185.2 million in the pre-COVID year 2019.
“Recurring revenues from DEAG’s own event formats and brands again made a significant contribution to the total revenue in 2022,” according to the press release accompanying the financials.
Those event formats include DEAG’s own Christmas Garden format, which attracted more than two million visitors at 19 locations in the season up to mid-January 2023. In the coming 2023/2024 season, the number of locations is to be expanded to over 25 in Germany and other European countries.
Other growth factors included “catch-up effects following the relaunch of live entertainment,” but above all, “the organic expansion of DEAG’s event pipeline and formats in recent years, successful M&A activities and the further expansion of ticketing.”
The companies acquired by DEAG since 2019 also made a significant contribution to the good performance for the first full year.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, EBITDA, stood at €31 million ($33.5 million) in 2022. It marks a 40% increase over the previous year’s level of €22.1 million, and is more than double than it was in the pre-crisis year of 2019 (€14.1 million).
DEAG sold more than nine million tickets in 2022, which marks a significant increase compared to the 5 million-plus tickets it sold annually leading up to COVID.
The strong year-end performance already became apparent in DEAG’s previous quarterly statements. Revenue in the final quarter of the year rose by 35% year-on-year to €90 million ($97 million), and EBITDA by 21.6% to €11 million ($12 million).
The year 2023 got off to an excellent start, as well, with sold-out events such as Ed Sheeran at The O2 London, “Disney on Ice,” events with award-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, the international literature festival lit.COLOGNE, the world’s most successful dance show Riverdance, and more.
Overall, DEAG’s 2023 event pipeline includes around 6,000 events for which the company aims to sell over 10 million tickets, which would make this another record year in the company’s 45-year history.
DEAG plans to intensify its M&A activities in the second half of 2023, with a particular focus on the ticketing segment.
DEAG CEO Prof. Peter Schwenkow commented, ““The enormous recovery and growth in revenue and EBITDA well above the level of the last comparable financial year 2019, a rock-solid balance sheet and a consistently implemented growth strategy characterised the year 2022 for DEAG.
“Our expansion measures, which we continued unwaveringly during the corona caesura, are bearing fruit. We will continue to move forward along this path. We sell ‘the little slice of happiness’ even in economically difficult times and have always seen particularly high demand, especially in recession years.
“With an increasing number of own-branded and thus high-margin event formats, an organization and crew [put in place] for growth, and ticketing that is growing steadily and with good margins, we can be confident for the years ahead.”