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Live Nation puts positive spin on Q2 figures

World News
August 8, 2020

Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) was able to extract some positives from its second quarter (Q2) financial report, which was otherwise as devastating as for just about everyone else in live entertainment, but on a larger scale.

Its survey of fan intentions found that 86 per cent were happy to retain their tickets for rescheduled shows, with 19 million tickets already sold to more than 4,000 events next year.

However, since March, LNE has refunded $477m of tickets for cancelled shows and another $218m for events that were rescheduled.

LNE, which underwent an $800m cost-reduction exercise earlier this year, also reports that “nearly 90 per cent of fans globally are planning on attending concerts again with a strong 2021 summer season expected and demonstrated by early UK festival ticket sales that are pacing well ahead of last year.”

LNE is also connecting artistes and fans in finding new ways to engage them and says 67m viewed live streams of concerts and festivals worldwide during Q2 via its virtual Live From Home platform.

“Live streaming has the potential to become a long-term component of our business,” notes LNE president and CEO Michael Rapino, who says the company will be, “resuming concerts globally at a different pace, market by market and launching socially-distanced shows when and where permitted.”

Q2 revenue was down 98 per cent to $74m, from $3.2bn in the same period last year. Net loss for the quarter was $568m compared to net income of $103m in 2019. Operating loss was $588m compared to $172m in operating income

LNE subsidiary Ticketmaster refunded 11m tickets across 42,000 shows in Q2 generating a loss of approximately $110m for LNE’s portion of service fees refunded to fans. The global refund rate for rescheduled events is 14 per cent, with around two-thirds of fans are keeping their tickets.

Lost expenditure resulting from cancelled or rescheduled events reached $87m.

“Over the past three months, our top priority has been strengthening our financial position to ensure that we have the liquidity and flexibility to get through an extended period with no live events,” says Rapino,

“Our expectation is that live events will return at scale in the summer of 2021, with ticket sales ramping up in the quarters leading up to these shows.”

LNE long term debt has risen to more than $4.83bn, with short-term debt at almost $64m.

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