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Business News (more headlines) 03-08-2017

Live Nation Entertainment Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2016 Results

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Live Nation Entertainment released financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016.

Live Nation delivered its sixth consecutive year of record results across revenue, adjusted operating income, or AOI, and free cash flow, and also delivered operating income growth in 2016. For the year, revenue was up 15%, operating income was up 48%, and free cash flow was up 5%, all as reported, and AOI was up 12% at constant currency. Our core divisions - concerts, ticketing and advertising - each delivered their strongest operating income and AOI results in the history of the company.

We continue to see the tremendous power of live events, with strong global consumer demand. Live is a truly unique entertainment form - it cannot be duplicated. It is elevated, not threatened, by technology and is borderless. Fans around the world can now discover, follow, share and embrace artists, creating greater demand for live shows. We believe the live business will continue to have strong growth for years to come as fans globally drive demand, artists are motivated to tour, and technology drives conversion.

Concerts Market Share Growth Accelerated in 2016

Live Nation continued to grow its global market share, adding over 7 million fans globally in 2016 for a total of over 71 million fans, driving revenue up 18%, operating income up 88%, and more than doubling concerts AOI. We built on our global leadership position in every part of our business, with double-digit fan growth in both North America and internationally, and across stadiums, amphitheaters, festivals, theaters and clubs.

We continued expanding our global footprint in 2016 as we added promoting offices in Germany, South Africa, and Israel, taking us to 40 countries worldwide. Across all our markets, we invested $4.4 billion to put on 26 thousand shows, with Live Nation now by far the largest financial supporter of artists in music.

Fans more than ever find the live experience, from club shows to arenas to festivals, a top entertainment choice and the best way to celebrate their favorite artists and share the experience with other fans. This, combined with an ongoing shift of consumer spending toward experiences, is helping drive a structural increase in demand for concerts globally. And in addition to fan growth, with this demand we are also seeing an increasing willingness by fans to spend more for tickets to the show and once they are there.

Average ticket prices for our shows increased by 5% in 2016, with high single- to double-digit growth at amphitheaters, arenas and stadiums. These increases were driven largely by higher pricing for the best tickets, as artists more effectively captured the true value from their shows.

Once at the show, average per fan spending grew as well. At our amphitheaters, spending grew by 9% to over $22 as we added more high-end products, improved the quality of our food and beverage offering and increased our points of sale.

Our growth is continuing into 2017, a further sign of the tremendous fan demand for our concerts and the success of our global growth strategy. Ticket sales are up double digits year-on-year through February 17th, driven by sales for arena and stadium shows, and we are confident we will again see strong growth in fan demand across our business this year.

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