WME parent company Endeavor has reported significant growth in the first quarter of 2022, driven by the resumption of concert touring and demand for live events.
Endeavor, which also owns sports agency IMG and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), among other properties, generated revenue of US$1.474 billion for the first fiscal quarter of 2022.
Net revenue came to $517.7m, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) totalled $314.4m.
The agency’s representation business (comprising WME, sports agency IMG and Endeavor Content) generated revenue of $357.3m for the quarter, up $108.4m or 44% compared to the first quarter of 2021.
The segment’s adjusted EBITDA was $101.7m for the quarter, up $40.2m or 65%, year on year.
According to the company, the growth was primarily driven by increased brand spending, as well as higher commissions resulting from continued strong demand for Endeavor’s talent, and the recovery of live entertainment, primarily music and comedy touring.
WME artists include Drake, Justin Timberlake, Adele, Bruno Mars, Pearl Jam, Kendrick Lamar, the Killers, Bjork, Frank Ocean, Foo Fighters, St Vincent, Shakira and more.
“Our growth in the first quarter was driven by our ability to respond to the high demand for premium content and live events”
Elsewhere, the Events, Experiences & Rights segment revenue was $825.8m for the quarter, up $286.2m or 53% compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Increases were primarily driven by the return of more full-capacity live events in the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2021, including Super Bowl LVI, the Miami Open, the NCAA Final Four and Frieze LA, as well as $38m in revenue from the acquisition of NCSA, which closed in Q2 2021.
The segment’s adjusted EBITDA was $132.5m for the quarter, up $93.4m or 239%, year on year.
Owned Sports Properties segment revenue was $296.7m for the quarter, up $13.2m or 5% compared to the first quarter of 2021 – primarily driven by greater sponsorship, licensing, commercial PPV and event-related revenue for UFC among other factors. The segment’s adjusted EBITDA was $148.7m for the quarter, up $3.2m or 2% year on year.
“Our growth in the first quarter was driven by our ability to respond to the high demand for premium content and live events,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO, Endeavor. “We feel great about where we sit relative to the secular tailwinds across all of our businesses, and we’ve raised our guidance for the fourth quarter in a row to reflect our positive outlook for the balance of the year.”
For 2022, Endeavor is projecting revenue between $5.235bn and $5.475bn, as well as adjusted EBITDA between $1.1bn and $1.15bn.
Last year, the company generated $5.1bn in revenue but posted a net loss of $467.5m.
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