WMG reports $38 million net loss

Quarterly report could be label group's last as a public company

In what could be its final report as a public company, Warner Music Group unveiled a steepening net loss of $38 million for the quarter ended March 31.

WMG announced last week that it is being purchased by multibillionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries for $3.3 billion (Daily Variety, May 9). Firm will go private upon completion of the sale.

Company reported revenues of $682 million for its second fiscal quarter, up 2% from $666 million during the same quarter in 2010.

WMG’s operating income was $16 million, off 33% from $24 million in the prior-year quarter. Figure reflected $7 million in severance charges ($3 million in recorded music and $4 million in music publishing), up $1 million quarter-to-quarter.

Per-share losses climbed to 25¢ from 17¢ in the ’10 quarter.

Company’s top sellers for the quarter were sets by Bruno Mars, R.E.M., Wiz Khalifa, Cee Lo Green and Lupe Fiasco.

WMG chairman-CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said in an optimistic statement, “Our focus on disciplined A&R investments, successful revenue diversification and innovative digital strategies has helped us to grow both our recorded music and music publishing revenue. We are excited to see our digital revenue approach the 50% milestone for U.S. recorded music and to see 60% of our active global artist roster signed to expanded-rights deals.”

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