With live entertainment at a standstill in Germany, it comes as no surprise that the CTS Eventim group incurred lost revenues. It did, however, manage to almost balance its EBITDA at the half-year mark.
Group revenue in the first six months fell by 71.5% to €198.5 million ($236.4 million) year-on-year (HY1/2019: €696.6 million), normalized EBITDA came in at minus €2.7 million (minus $3.2 million) from €111.8 million ($133 millon) at this point in time last year.
In the second quarter of 2020, group revenues were 96.6% lower year-on-year, at €13.9 million ($16.6 million), compared to €413.9 million ($492 million) in Q2/2019. The normalized EBITDA figure came in at minus €16.2 million (minus $19.3 million), down from €54.7 million in Q2/2019.
As the German live entertainment giant sums up in its earnings statement: "In spring 2020, bans and conditions imposed by government authorities largely put a stop to live entertainment in Germany and on all international markets. Major events are currently not permitted in most countries until the end of September or the end of October 2020."
Once the country went into lockdown, CTS Eventim began implementing measures to reduce costs and boost efficiency, which "have saved the Group a double-digit million Euro figure," according to the statement.
Investments were reduced to a minimum, the annual shareholders’ meeting held in June resolved not to distribute a dividend for 2019, an existing credit line was drawn down.
To maintain liquidity CTS Eventim, like many promoters, is banking on voucher schemes instead of ticket refunds in its key European markets.
Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS EVENTIM, commented: "Even though we are currently experiencing the most difficult phase ever in our corporate history as a result of the corona pandemic, we are looking confidently to the future.
"Crises are above all an opportunity for a company to show its strengths. Thanks to prudent management in the past, to the solid cash flow situation we have as a result, to rigorous cost-cutting and efficiency-boosting measures, to our forward-looking technologies and thanks, last but not least, to our highly motivated employees, we are also well placed to face such a difficult market environment as it is at present. We will emerge from the crisis stronger and more agile."
And he added: "It’s a hopeful sign that events with several hundred visitors are now taking place again. Our LANXESS arena in Cologne was a forerunner in that respect, and concerts with a total capacity of up to 5,000 people are planned as tests for this coming September in our Waldbühne arena in Berlin, with an appropriate hygiene concept. We know that enthusiasm for live events is unbroken, despite corona."
As usual, CTS Eventim breaks down its earnings by the ticketing and promotion arms of the business:
In the ticketing segment, revenue in the first six months of the year fell by 55.8 percent to €88.4 million compared to the first half of 2019, when it stood at €200.2 million. Normalized EBITDA fell year-on-year from €74.4 million to minus €1.3 million.
In the second quarter of 2020, revenue fell 90.2% from €95.8 million to €9.4 million, while normalized EBITDA came in at minus €18.2 million
(Q2/2019: EUR 32.5 million).
In the live entertainment segment, revenue fell in the first half of the year by 77.2% to €114.9 million (HY1/2019: EUR 504.5 million). Normalized EBITDA
came in at minus €1.4 million (HY1/2019: EUR 37.4 million). This includes €42.4 million in income from insurance compensations.
In the second quarter of 2020, revenue fell 98% from €322.3 million to €6.3 million. Normalized EBITDA was €1.9 million (Q2/2019: €22.2 million).
CTS Eventim conducted a survey amongst its customers, indicating that "75% of the respondents want to go to live events again within four months of the corona restrictions being lifted."
The voucher solution provided by law is welcomed by more than 80% of those taking part in the survey. More than 85% said they want to redeem the vouchers for an event other than the one originally planned. More than 90% of respondents said that they were missing live entertainment and concerts.