Superstars Drive CTS Eventim Growth

Apache 207 concert in Berlin
German rapper and singer Apache 207 performs at Berlin’s Waldbühne – one of many artists that drove ticket sales for CTS Eventim this year. (Photo by Hannes P Albert/picture alliance via Getty Images)

CTS Eventim, in its third business quarter of 2023, has “comfortably surpassed” the result of the record year 2022, thanks to superstar artists on tour, a vast event portfolio, and “prudent cost management,” according to the company’s Q3 earnings statement.

Compared to the first nine months of 2022, CTS Eventim’s online ticket sales were up by 27% in the period from January to September 2023, or by 11.6 million in concrete numbers, driven by the many different live entertainment and sports events, in particular mega tours from Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, and German star Apache 207.

Consolidated group revenue for the first nine months of 2023 came to €1.75 billion ($1.9 billion), which marks a 23% increase compared with the prior-year period. Normalized EBITDA after nine months stood at €343.3 million ($372.8 million), up 34%, Looking at just the third quarter normalized EBITDA stood at €172.5 million ($187.3 million), up by 29% compared to Q3 of last year. The normalized EBITDA margin is around 20%.

As the live entertainment giant points out, “these figures include income of €37.4 million from the joint venture autoTicket GmbH, Berlin, to which the CTS group companies are directly entitled.” Specifically, “the income stems from compensation payments from the German government.”

As last year’s figures contained income received under pandemic-related economic aid programs, the year-on-year growth rates “essentially reflect the success of the operating business,” according to the statement.

As usual, CTS Eventim breaks down group revenues by its two business segments, ticketing and live entertainment.

Ticketing revenues climbed by 36% year-on-year to €459.3 million ($498.9). The figures do not yet include the revenue of the French market leader France Billet, which is due to be fully consolidated at the start of 2024.

Mega Ticketing Deal In France: CTS Eventim Completes France Billet Minority Stake Acquisition

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Taylor Swift onsale in Germany has impressed everyone in this biz, and CTS Eventim profited a lot from it. Here the superstar is shown at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Nov. 9, 2023. (Photo by TAS2023 via Getty Images)

Normalized EBITDA rose by 59% to €242.3 million ($263.1 million) in the first nine months of 2023, again, including the non-recurring income from the German government’s compensation payments.

Live entertainment revenues jumped increased by 19% to €1.315 billion ($1.428 billion) in the first three quarters of 2023. Normalized EBITDA remained “almost unchanged,” dropping by 3% to €101 million ($110 million), “despite substantially higher costs.”

The normalized EBITDA margin stood at 8%, almost level with last year’s 9%.

“This is a particular success,” the earnings statement reads, “as the figures for the first nine months of the previous year had been boosted by government subsidies running into the mid-double-digit millions.”

And while appealing content continues to attract millions of fans worldwide to festivals and concerts despite higher ticket prices, these results couldn’t have been achieved without diligent cost management in Europe’s difficult economy.

Given CTS Eventim’s event pipeline, as well as the upcoming Christmas period, the executive board’s outlook is positive, expecting group revenue for 2023 as a whole to be surpass €2 billion ($2.2 billion), and a normalized EBITDA well above €400 million ($434 million).

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg commented, “CTS Eventim offers extremely attractive content in almost all live entertainment segments and has unparalleled reach among fans of music, sport, edutainment and other live formats in Europe and beyond. Thanks to the global integration of our technologies and marketing platforms, we’re ideally positioned to monetize both our content and reach while offering fans a unique live experience that starts with their ticket purchase. As part of our strategy of international expansion, we have already integrated the French market leader, France Billet, into our operations. France Billet is a strong player and once it has been fully consolidated, we expect that it will provide another boost to our business. And once again, Christmas trade will also have a positive impact on our net profit for the year.”

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