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Press Release 9/25/2012 - FY12 Results


Ticket revenues and contributed operating revenues up   

(ST. LOUIS) Today, the St. Louis Symphony released its Fiscal Year 2012 results, a year in which the Symphony achieved a highly successful European tour and finalized a four-year contract with its musicians through 2017, a full fourteen months in advance of expiration of the current agreement.   The FY12 numbers, reflecting continued progress in a still uncertain economic climate, show the highest ticket revenues since 2000, an increase in per-concert attendance at Powell Hall, and the highest contributed operating revenues in a decade.

“There were important successes this year - programmatic, financial and institutional - as this review of 2012 indicates,” said Fred Bronstein, President/CEO of the St. Louis Symphony.   


Earned Revenues

  • During the FY12 season, ticket revenues for all concerts totaled $6.74m, an increase of 2.7% over FY11.  This is the highest revenue for all concerts since 2000.
  • Seats sold totaled 192,445; within 1% of prior year, but with three fewer concerts than the prior year.
  • To that point, per-concert average for all concerts increased 1.5% over FY11, to 1,734.
  • Although classical revenues and classical attendance were down 1.4% and 2.3% respectively, Live at Powell Hall continued to make great strides.  In FY12, Live at Powell Hall ticket revenues grew 7.5% to $1.79m, total seats sold increased 5.8% to 40,521, and per-concert average attendance increased 11%, to 1,930.
  • 52% of Live at Powell Hall purchasers represented new households in FY12. 


Contributed Operating Revenues

·         Totaled $9.33m, up 2% over FY11, and the highest in a decade

o   The Annual Campaign reached $4.37m, up 3.7% over FY11.

o   Grants & Special Purpose funds totaled $3.5m.

o   Other contributed revenue areas:  Sponsorships totaling $630,000, up $194,000 or 45% over FY11; the Gala which netted $579,000, exceeding the prior year net by more than $100,000; while SVA (volunteer) activities raised $326,000, up 18.5% over FY11.    



  • At close of FY12, the total endowment market value was $130.8m, up from $127.3m in FY11.
  • Endowment funds taken into the operating budget per a 5% draw policy totaled $5.97m, unchanged from the prior year. 



·         Expenses totaled $26.9m, up 1% over FY11.


Budget Results

·         There was an operating gap of $2.8m, unchanged from $2.8m in FY11.

·         As in prior years, while the St. Louis Symphony reports these gaps as deficits, the operating gap is fully funded by stop-gap funding raised for this purpose.  The St. Louis Symphony carries no accumulated deficit.     


Multi-Year Context

Since the launch of audience development and other revenue growth initiatives in 2008:

  • Ticket revenues are up 39% from $4.84m to $6.74m.
  • Number of seats sold is up 16% from 165,865 to 192,445.
  • The per-concert average is up 14% from 1,522 to 1,734, an increase of more than 200 seats per concert.
  •  123,000 tickets for Live at Powell Hall have been sold since its inception in 2009.
  •   More than 31,000 new households have purchased tickets for our concerts at Powell Hall, including more than 18,000 for Live at Powell Hall concerts. 
  •   Total contributed operating revenues have grown 20% from $7.76m to $9.33m, through special events like the gala, sponsorships, special funding and the Annual Campaign.


Overall, since 2007, total operating revenues have grown $4.1m or 20% while expenses have grown $3.5m or 15%.  This revenue growth as compared with expenses has allowed for a 17% overall reduction in long-term annual deficits from $3.4m in 2007 to $2.8m in 2012.


European Tour

The St. Louis Symphony’s European Tour, in September 2012 (part of FY13), its first since 1998, included concerts at three highly prestigious festivals:  the BBC Proms in London, the Berlin Musikfest and the Lucerne Festival, as well as a performance at the famed Salle Pleyel in Paris.  The tour, which was fully funded through a combination of concert performance fees and underwriting, was met with critical acclaim here in St. Louis and abroad with European critics.  



New Labor Agreement

In June, the St. Louis Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 2-197, announced an agreement on a new four-year labor contract.  The agreement, reached 14 months prior to the expiration of the current contract, provides five years of labor stability for the St. Louis Symphony:  the one year remaining on the current contract, and the new four-year contract which goes into effect September 3, 2013 and runs through August 27, 2017.