Ticketmaster New Zealand, which is owned by the world's biggest concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment, posted a 143 percent jump in profit last year as sales ran faster than expenses.
Profit rose to $5.1 million in calendar 2017 from $2.1 million a year earlier, according to the Auckland-based company's annual report. Sales gained to $42 million from $31.5 million. Cost of sales advanced to $19 million from $15 million, with the biggest increase coming from commissions and venue rebates, which rose to $10.2 million from $6.9 million.
Ticketmaster and parent Live Nation declined to comment on the results saying the company doesn't give a breakdown of its regional results. But it pointed to already published information that showed it expects continued growth from the New Zealand market. One was the record audience attendance for Bruno Mars across four sold-out shows in February and March this year and the other was Live Nation's announcement in April that it had taken a controlling interest in the three-day Rhythm and Vines Festival held in Gisborne since 2003. No financial details were disclosed.
Live Nation NZ acquired a majority stake in Auckland's 12,000 capacity Spark Arena in 2016 along with MHC Investments, an investment vehicle of concert promoter Michael Coppel and Michelle Coppel, which owns 30 percent of Live Nation NZ. In March, the company said it expects a busy year for the venue, with Kendrick Lamar, Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Pink, Def Leppard and Shania Twain among musicians set to perform.
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As well as ticket sales and concert promotions, Ticketmaster New Zealand operates a ticket resale business. As at December 31, it held cash and equivalents of $75 million, according to its accounts, up from $17.5 million a year earlier.
New York Stock Exchange-listed Live Nation Entertainment has more than 10,000 clients in 20 global markets, according to its website. It was formed through the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the world's biggest concert promoter and ticket seller, and there has been some criticism it uses its dominance to drive off competitors, put pressure on venues and keep ticket prices high. In April, the New York Times reported that Department of Justice officials were looking at Live Nation's market behaviour.
The company reported a 17 percent jump in sales in its first quarter to US$1.4 billion, for an operating loss of US$21 million. It forecast double-digit growth in operating income for 2018.
Its stock has climbed 43 percent in the past 12 months to trade recently at US$45.50.