Live Nation posts 2Q profit, beating expectations

Posted Aug. 08, 2011, at 9:27 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 08, 2011, at 10:18 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — Concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc. made a profit in the second quarter, reversing a loss from a year ago, by doing away with fire-sale discounts and instead adjusting prices to accommodate both super fans and casual concertgoers.

As a result, it generated more revenue from higher-priced seats closest to the stage, while drawing in more fans to the cheap seats in the back. Concert attendance went up 13 percent in North America and people who visited its amphitheaters spent 3 percent spent more than last year, at $19.21 each, on beer, food and parking.

The results announced Monday beat analyst expectations for a break-even quarter and provided some upbeat news on a day the stock market fell sharply because of worries about the slowing U.S. economy and escalating debt problems threatening Europe.

“The focus this year was to price the house right from the beginning, to drive higher revenue from the front and lower prices in the back to stimulate purchase,” said Chief Executive Michael Rapino on a conference call. “The key strategy to achieve this, No. 1, was no mass discounting. And by doing that, our ticket revenues are up 6 percent.”

Including international results, concert attendance grew 6 percent to 13 million.

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