(photo via www.facebook.com/LiveNation)

(photo via www.facebook.com/LiveNation)

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. reported a thorn in its normally rosy financial picture, reporting a net loss of $55.2 million for the first quarter of 2019.

The loss is up 26 percent from Live Nation’s $41.0 million net loss in the first quarter of 2018.

Live Nation is a titan of the live events space, controlling about 80 percent of the U.S. ticketing market and 60 percent of the domestic concerts market. It typically reports a positive net income, and posted $60.2 million in 2018 yearly net income.

However, the Beverly Hills-headquartered company relies on music festivals and outdoor shows for much of its revenue, and generally tends to bring in less revenue in the winter months.

Live Nation did report a 17 percent jump in revenue to $1.7 billion compared to the first quarter of 2018. But the revenue gain was more than offset by a jump in expenses including a 19 percent increase in operating expenditures, which tallied $1.1 billion in 2019’s first quarter.

Live Nation Chief Financial Officer Kathy Willard attributed the expense hike to “acquisition-related costs” during an earnings call May 2. Live Nation has aggressively expanded ownership of venues, talent management companies, and ticketing services in 42 different countries.

Live Nation’s quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission also mentioned “higher compensation costs associated with salary increases and headcount growth,” as a reason for added expenses.

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or mblake@labusinessjournal.com

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