Tickets.com Posts Profitable 3Q

Tickets.com reported a profitable third quarter ending September 30, 2002. The company attributes its continuing momentum to business streamlining, increased revenue and enhanced customer and product focus. "I am pleased with our revenue performance," said Ron Bension, Tickets.com CEO. "As we continue to progress with the management team, we look forward to delivering improved technology, products and service levels for our customers and the industry."

During the third quarter, Tickets.com expanded its client roster with new ticketing services agreements including establishing a greater presence in Houston with the H'Towns Arena, in Oklahoma with the Mabee Center, and in the Mid-Atlantic area with the Roanoke Civic Center, along with renewing its agreement with The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Tickets.com also secured Second City as a client, entered into a software licensing agreement with the University of New Mexico, and signed a retail distribution agreement with Sports Authority. Also in the third quarter Tickets.com announced a partnership with Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge product, the global leader in fundraising software, to integrate the critical fundraising and ticketing functions of nonprofit organizations with their Tickets.com back-office ticketing systems.

Total revenues for the third quarter of 2002 were $16.4 million, a 15 percent increase versus the same period in 2001. On a year-to-date basis, total revenues of $51.4 million represent a 13 percent increase over the first three quarters of 2001.

Total gross profit for the third quarter of 2002 improved to $8.8 million, an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year. From a margin standpoint, the third quarter result of 53.6 percent represents a 4.7 percentage point increase over the third quarter last year and a 2.7 percentage point improvement versus the immediately preceding quarter. On a year-to-date basis, 2002 gross margin of 50.5 percent reflects a 7.5 percentage point improvement as compared to the prior year period, translating into an incremental $6.4 million of gross profit.

Tickets.com's total operating expenses decreased 22 percent, from $16.1 million in Q3 2001 to $12.6 million in Q3 2002. On a year-to-date basis, the 2002 figure of $49.1 million represents a 26 percent improvement over the prior year figure of $66 million. Excluding non-recurring charges related to restructuring and impairment of goodwill and other intangibles of $9.5 million and $15.3 million for 2002 and 2001, respectively, the Q3 2002 year-to-date result of $39.5 million is 22 percent better than in the same period last year. The reductions represent the execution against continued opportunities for staff rationalization, facility consolidation and efficiency improvements.

The EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) loss for the third quarter was $2.7 million as compared to a loss of $4.4 million in the same period in the prior year, or a 38 percent improvement. Pro forma EBITDA (which excludes the impact of certain non-cash expenses relating to marketing and advertising relationships, as well as asset impairment charges) loss was $2.3 million in the third quarter of 2002 as compared to $1.4 million in the third quarter of 2001. On a year-to-date basis, the EBITDA loss was $40.4 million in 2002 versus $31.0 million in the prior year. Year-to-date 2002 pro forma EBITDA loss of $5.2 million represents a 56 percent improvement versus 2001. Pro forma EBITDA is presented in addition to results provided in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Management measures the progress of the business using this pro-forma information as an indicator of operating cash usage.

The company reported a net loss of ($3.7) million or ($0.62) per share on a fully diluted basis for the third quarter of 2002. This compares with a net loss of ($8.9) million or ($1.24) per diluted share for the same period of 2001. On a 2002 year-to-date basis, the company has recorded a net loss of ($47.2) million versus a 2001 year-to-date net loss of ($46.1) million.

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