West End Brings in £400.8 Million for 2006

News   West End Brings in £400.8 Million for 2006
West End ticket revenues rose 4.8 percent to £400.8 million (around $785 million) in 2006, passing the £400 million mark for the first time, according to figures released by The Society of London Theatre.

Ticket sales rose only 0.5 percent, but reached a record high of 12.4 million.

The prospects for the future look ever better, as advance sales at the end of the year stood at £57 million (around $112 million), more than double what they were at the end of 2005.

The rise in revenues and advance sales came largely as a result of a strong second half of the year, which saw the opening of such powerhouses as Wicked, The Sound of Music and Spamalot.

SOLT President Rosemary Squire said in a statement, "At the six month mark, the industry was braced for a very tough 2006 with audience numbers — and in particular visitor numbers to London — still depressed from the difficult days of the previous year. That the industry has bounced back so spectacularly gives us great hope for the future — and a great boost to the London economy."

The average price of a West End ticket was £32.43 (around $63.53) in 2006. That's still smaller than Broadway's average of $75.69, according to figures from the League of American Theatres and Producers. The West End earned less money but sold more tickets than Broadway did. Broadway revenues were $906 million on 11.97 million tickets in 2006, according to the League. Broadway, however, numbers only 39 theatres, while SOLT's West End figures take into account 53 theatres.

The British government received £59 million (around $116 million) in VAT revenues from West End tickets.

For more information visit www.solt.co.uk/.

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