Earnings: EMI Digital Sales GrowingBut By How Much?

This story was written by Patrick Smith.
If EMI Music makes a huge amount of digital revenues, it certainly doesn't like to shout about it. In its year-end results to March 31its first full year under Terra Firma's ownershipEMI says non-physical sales, including digital sales, licensing and online rights, now account for 35 percent of revenues, compared with 20 percent in 2008. So we don't know exactly how much money it makes from digital downloads and licensing its tracks to music streaming sites - but we do know digital makes up a greater proportion than it did last year.

EMI made profits, before tax and exceptionals, of 163 million ($246 million)a hefty rise on 2008's 51 million ($77.1 million)and turnover four percent higher year on year at 1.07 billion ($1.61 billion). At a constant currency level, however, sales were down 10 percent, which the company admits is "slightly more than the contraction in the overall market". EMI's earnings was helped significantly by cost savings of 48 million ($72.5 million) year on year and it says Terra Firma's plan to save 200 million ($302 million) in total is on course. The company's market share was down just 0.2 percent at 9.7 percent. The group expects an uplift in sales when it re-releases The Beatles' back catalogue in September on CDwhile there's still no sign of a paid-for download option of Fab Four fans. In March Terra Firma wrote off half its 2.6 billion ($3.45 million) investment in EMI.

By Patrick Smith