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Live Nation trims 1Q loss as concert revenue up

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Concert promoter and ticket seller Live Nation Entertainment Inc. on Tuesday posted a slightly narrower first-quarter loss as revenue grew 6 percent and corporate expenses fell.

The net loss amounted to $63.2 million, or 33 cents per share, slightly smaller than last year's quarterly loss of $69.2 million, or 37 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 36 cents per share.

Revenue grew to $923.7 million from $868 million a year ago. That was better than the $909 million analysts were looking for.

Concert revenue grew 14 percent to $514 million, on a 12 percent gain in attendance, although the segment continued to post a loss. Performers take the lion's share of ticket prices, and Live Nation tries to generate revenue around concerts by selling beer, snacks and parking tickets.

Ticketing revenue for sports and other events was flat at $325.1 million compared to $326.5 million a year ago.

The company plans to boost profitability in part through implementing new ticketing technology that cuts the price per ticket and by trying to raise more money through sponsorships.

Live Nation shares rose 28 cents, or 2.2 percent to close at $13.23 before the results were released. Shares are up 42 percent since the start of the year.