CTS Eventim Breaks Billion-Euro Revenue Mark After Six Months, Hails U.S. Success

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

CTS Eventim has exceeded the €1 billion revenue threshold within the first six months of a financial year for the first time in company history – and exceeded $50 million in live entertainment revenues in the U.S. for the first time.

Business performance in the group’s live entertainment and ticketing segments was propelled by a diverse range of music and sports events. Highlights in the first half of the year included tours by Herbert Grönemeyer, Hans Zimmer, and P!nk, as well as international sporting events such as the World Athletics Championships currently taking place in Budapest, Aug. 19-27, where CTS Eventim has been the exclusive ticketing provider.

Online ticket sales by the group in the period January to June 2023 were up by 23% on the prior-year period, according to the summary of CTS Eventim’s half-year performance.

The normalized EBITDA margin remained “at the excellent prior-year level” of 17%, the earnings statement reads.

Consolidated group revenue – live entertainment and ticketing – in the first half of 2023 stood at €1.021 billion ($1.102 billion), a 39% increase compared with the prior-year period.

“This strong rise was partially attributable to the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, which had still significantly impacted both segments in the prior
year, especially in the first quarter,” the statement continues.

Compared with the corresponding pre-pandemic figure from 2019, revenue was up by 47%.

See: CTS Eventim Accelerates Growth In Q2 2019

The Group’s normalised EBITDA advanced substantially, reaching €170.8 million ($184 million) for the first half of 2023 (up by 39% year on year) and €94.8 million ($102 million) for the second quarter of 2023 (down 5% year-on-year).

As the company points out, “Earnings in the second quarter of 2022 had still been boosted by government subsidies of around €25 million under pandemic-related
economic aid programmes. Excluding these subsidies, normalised EBITDA increased by
27% year on year in the second quarter.”

Compared with the corresponding period in 2019, normalised EBITDA grew by 73%. The normalised EBITDA margin remained at the prior-year level of 17% “and has thus proved resilient to the impact of widely rising prices.”

In the ticketing segment Ticketing revenues climbed by 41% year-on-year to €284.6 million ($307 million). Unit sales of online tickets were up by 6.4 million
compared with the prior-year period. “The sustainable growth in the first half of the current year was primarily driven by a broad range and large number of successful events and tours,” according to the earnings statement summary.

Normalized EBITDA rose by 48% to €122.3 million ($132 million) in the first six months of 2023. The core markets in Germany, Italy and Austria remain the biggest growth drivers.

Revenue in the live entertainment segment also advanced substantially, reaching €751 million ($810 million), an increase of 39% compared with the prior-year period, while normalized EBITDA went up 21% to €48.5 million ($52.3 million).

See: CTS Eventim Reports ‘Substantial Growth’ In Q1 2023

What the company deems particularly “encouraging,” is that revenues of “just over €50 million” ($54 million) were generated in the U.S. in the first half of 2023, with revenue for the year as a whole expected to come to more than €100 million ($108 million).

Despite the widely reported sharp rises in production costs for promoters all over, “normalized EBITDA margin in the live entertainment segment maintained at just 1 percentage point below the prior-year level both for the second quarter and for the first six months as a whole, in spite of the sharp rise in production costs.”

The extremely successful launch of presales for Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour,’ “the absolute top seller for the current year,” according to the earnings statement, did not happen until July and will therefore only be recognized in the figures in Q3.

“Likewise,” the statement continues, “the high-volume business of French ticketing
market leader France Billet will not be fully consolidated until the acquisition of the majority of shares that was announced in August has been completed.”

Finally, the published figures do not yet include the compensation payment in connection with the arbitration proceedings over the car toll dispute, which CTS Eventim is due to receive on the basis of its shareholding in autoTicket GmbH.

The first six months of 2023 are still enough cause for optimism regarding the second half of the year. For the full year, CTS Eventim’s executive board expects both revenue and normalized EBITDA to increase compared to 2022.

CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg commented, “The breadth and depth of our portfolio and the successful internationalization of our business are the key drivers of our strong and stable growth. After the market distortions caused by pandemic-related catch-up effects, we are now back to ‘business as usual’ at CTS Eventim.

“And ‘as usual’ for us means healthy organic growth and the development and expansion of new and existing business segments. In the first half of this year, CTS Eventim has demonstrated great flexibility and entrepreneurial ingenuity on all fronts, enabling us to successfully navigate current macroeconomic challenges and stay on track for healthy growth. All relevant key figures confirm that both the wider market and our Group continue to perform at higher levels than before the pandemic.”

The first time the company broke the billion-dollar-revenue mark was in 2017, but it took all year then. All figures listed here are based on the exchange rates at press time.

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