Highlights (year-over-year): 

Revenue Up 7% for the Quarter to $2.9 Billion
Operating Income Up 19% for the Quarter to $135 Million
Adjusted Operating Income Up 18% for the Quarter to $260 Million
Event-Related Deferred Revenue of $1.6 Billion as of June 30
Concert Tickets Sold for 2018 Shows Nearly 70 Million, Up $3 Million through July
Sponsorship & Advertising Committed Net Revenue Up 12% through July
Ticketmaster Fee-Bearing GTV Up 15% through July
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) today released financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018.

The company continued its strong performance through the second quarter, with operating income up 19%, adjusted operating income ("AOI") up 18% and revenue up 7%. Each of our businesses contributed to these results, all delivering double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the quarter.

We have built the industry's most scalable and unparalleled live platform, bringing over 550 million fans in 40 countries to live events each year. With our key metrics in concerts, sponsorship and ticketing all pacing ahead of last year, we are confident that in 2018 we will again deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth for the company.

Concerts Global Platform Growth

Starting with the concerts business, through July we have sold approximately 70 million tickets to shows this year, almost three million more tickets than at this point last year, putting us on track to have over 90 million fans attend our concerts this year.

In the second quarter, we promoted more than 9,000 shows for over 25 million fans, delivering an 11% increase in operating income, a 13% increase in AOI and 6% revenue growth.

As we previously indicated, this year will be particularly strong in our amphitheaters, with attendance up double-digits through the second quarter, and on track to grow by three million fans for the full year. Given our ability to drive high-margin on-site spending with this audience, these additional fans are highly profitable.

At the same time, we continue improving the on-site experience at our amphitheaters, driving increased spend per fan with additional points of sale, improved product mix and optimized pricing. From this and other initiatives, we expect ancillary spend per fan growth to accelerate this year, increasing by between $2.50 and $3.00 per head.

We also continue to capture greater value for the artists and Live Nation through pricing optimization, delivering more of the market value to artists. As a result, average ticket pricing is up double-digits in amphitheaters and arenas so far this year, driving an anticipated $500 million increase in revenue for the year, assuming consistent price increases continue.

Through the second quarter, we have booked over 5,000 arena and amphitheater shows, up 18% over this point last year, putting us on track for over 90 million tickets this year at 32,000 shows and to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth in our concerts business for the year.

Sponsorship & Advertising Delivered Continued Growth

Our sponsorship business continues to grow rapidly, with operating income up 14%, AOI up 14% and revenue up 12% for the quarter. The strength of our platform and our ability to provide direct engagement with our 90 million fans has enabled us to continue building relationships with strategic brands that have driven much of our growth. This group accounts for over 75% of our total sponsorship and the number of these sponsors has grown double-digits this year as we have added relationships with companies such as American Eagle, General Mills and Rémy Martin. As a result, the committed spend by these strategic sponsors is also up double-digits through mid-July.

Festivals provide a key opportunity for sponsors to engage fans at a time when they are uniquely receptive to such brand messages. Our European festivals in particular have grown strongly in the second quarter, with revenue per fan at these festivals up 12%. Overall, through July we are pacing double-digits ahead of last year in committed net revenue, with over 90% of our planned net revenue for the year committed. Given this, we currently expect to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth in sponsorship again this year.

Ticketmaster Marketplace Growing

Ticketmaster continues to demonstrate that it is the best marketplace for venues, teams and artists to sell tickets to fans globally, with gross transaction value ("GTV") on fee-bearing tickets up 11% globally this quarter. As a result, for the quarter Ticketmaster's operating income was up 12%, AOI was up 15% and revenue was up 13%.

At its core, Ticketmaster continues to be the most effective ticketing platform in the world, with the technology to service venues, sports teams and artists, and with the marketplace to attract and convert ticket buyers.

Our digital ticketing roll-out is proceeding on plan, with the first phase in 2018 focused on deploying our Presence access control systems.  To date, we have installed Presence systems in 125 venues, with another 75 venues planned in the second half of this year, positioning us to have at least 60 million fans using this system next year.

In addition to building technologies to better serve our venues, artists and sports teams, we continue investing to make Ticketmaster an even better marketplace for fans to buy tickets. In broadening options for fans, we have increased the number of events listed on Ticketmaster by 16% this year to almost 280,000 events through June.

From a fan behavior standpoint, we continue to see an ongoing shift to mobile and, following a redesigned purchase experience, mobile fee-bearing ticket sales are up 34% for the year, now accounting for 40% of all fee-bearing ticket sales, with mobile conversion rates up double-digits.

Overall, Ticketmaster's results are validating our strategy of delivering an efficient marketplace for fans to buy tickets while providing a great enterprise software solution to venues, teams and artists looking to maximize the value of their events. With this strategy's continued success, we currently expect to again deliver high single-digit growth in ticketing operating income and AOI this year.

Summary

2018 is on track for the company to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth along with strong gains in revenue, operating cash flow and free cash flow — adjusted. Each of our businesses is contributing to this success, as we put on more concerts for a greater numbers of fans, continue to monetize fans who come to the shows, sell more tickets to events of all types and further demonstrate the value of over 90 million fans to sponsors.

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