Live Nation has enjoyed a “better than expected” start to 2018 after outperforming projections in the first quarter.

In its financial results for the three months to March 31, the company said it had achieved double-digit growth across key indicators. It said its growth was a result of “a global concerts industry that is structurally growing, with strong tailwinds for both supply and demand.”

Live Nation delivered year-on-year growth in revenue of 19%, operating income of 72%, adjusted operating income of 24 per cent, operating cash flow of 2 per cent, and free cash flow – adjusted of 76 per cent, with all of its divisions delivering double-digit operating income and AOI growth.

Concert business revenue was up 20 per cent and operating income 16 per cent, with the company promoting 22 per cent more shows for 15 per cent more fans globally.

The company said: “We have now booked enough concerts, sold enough tickets and have enough sponsorship commitments to be confident that we will have a successful 2018, delivering double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the year.

“Looking towards the full year, through April, we have booked nearly 5,000 arena, stadium and amphitheatre shows, up 21 per cent over this point last year.”

Live Nation said growth has been strong across all regions, but added that there has been a tripling of ticket sales in Latin America.

It added: “Our recently announced acquisition of a stake in Rock in Rio, which will give us a controlling interest starting with the 2019 festival, provides us with a strong foundation for future growth in Latin America.”

Meanwhile, Live Nation’s Ticketmaster has made a record-breaking start to 2018, with revenue and income up around 20 per cent and the company making a “strong start” to its new deal with the NFL.

Revenue and operating income were both up by 19 per cent year-on-year, with adjusted operating income rising by 17 per cent.

Discussing the entire Live Nation business, Michael Rapino, president and chief executive, said: “2018 is on track to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth along with expected strong gains in revenue, operating cash flow, and free cash flow.

“Our key leading indicators for our concerts, sponsorship & advertising and ticketing segments are ahead of last year, and we currently expect each of our businesses to deliver record revenue, operating income, and AOI this year.”

IMAGE: Geralt / Ticketmaster logo