By Alfred Branch, Jr.
IAC/IntetActiveCorp, Ticketmaster’s parent company, reported net income for the quarter ended March 31 rose 32 percent to $62.1 million compared to the same quarter in 2006. The company said the increase was largely due to a healthy jump in concert ticket sales. IAC’s total revenues for the quarter grew 10 percent to $1.6 billion, and its adjusted earnings per share rose to 33 cents, which was in line with analyst projections….
Ticketmaster’s revenues for the quarter rose 26 percent to $309.9 million, up from $245.7 million, and its operating income before amortization rose 9 percent to $71.6 million. After costs, Ticketmaster’s operating income was $64.8 million, a 10 percent increase.
Leading the charge was a 15 percent increase in the number of tickets sold during the quarter, or 35.9 million, up from 31.3 million. The company attributed the jump to the multiple sellouts for The Police and Kenny Chesney tours. Gross dollar value for the 35.9 million tickets sold was $2.1 billion, a 32 percent climb over $1.6 billion in first quarter of 2006. U.K. and Canadian sales were strong for the quarter, which helped Ticketmaster’s international sales climb 36 percent after foreign exchange rates were taken into effect.
Ticketmaster’s performance helped offset declines at IAC’s Lending Tree mortgage division, which is slumping due to the nation’s sluggish real estate and home loan markets. Lending Tree’s revenues dropped 12 percent to $100 million for the quarter, down from $113.9. Ticketmaster and Lending Tree are the two largest divisions in IAC’s Transactions group (formerly called the Services group), and its total revenues grew 15 percent for the quarter to $444.7 million. However, the group posted a 2 percent operating loss down to $62.3 million.