Madonna and Co seal profits bonanza for NEC group Star Names: Madonna and Justin Bieber.
STAR names from Madonna to One Direction ensured a record-breaking year for the NEC Group's concerts arm - as music fans flocked to the LG Arena and NIA to rack up a PS5.6 million bonanza.
The NEC Group's Arenas and Ticket Factory saw profits rise by 51 per cent - up by PS1.9 million on the previous year - as the Midlands' biggest concert venues pulled in the crowds.
A line-up of top acts, including One Direction, The Killers, Madonna, Jay Z, Muse and Justin Bieber, helped the NEC Group clock up overall operating profits of PS15.5 million for the year to March 31 2013.
Over the 12-month period, the exhibition and live events business welcomed almost four million visitors to its venues, incorporating over 750 events.
The year was a sharp contrast to the previous 12 months, when the LG Arena and the NIA had suffered a major slump in artists touring, which hit profits at the Ticket Factory business.
John Hornby, the NEC Group's Chief Operating Officer, said: "We have two fantastic world-class venues and that produced a PS5.6 million operating profit - we have never done that before.
"Last year was a bit of a down year in the music market, but this year was much stronger. In any one year, you will get stronger acts than others, that is how the touring market goes, but we still have to attract them.
"We cannot do a lot about the fact that Madonna chooses to do a UK tour but we can influence the fact that she comes to Birmingham.
"There is no other city in the UK with two arenas of this size.
"The Division One arenas are the O2 in London, Manchester and ourselves, and if you take North America out of it, given the scale of the population, the UK is incredibly well served.
"The NIA is a city centre venue in the heart of Birmingham while the LG Arena is more of a gateway into the region, and pulls in concert-goers from outside.
"As we had anticipated, the Arenas business bounced back very well from a difficult previous financial year."
Star Names: Madonna and Justin Bieber.
Birmingham Mail THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013