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Warner Music posts loss of $26 mil

Digital revenue climbed 17% to $219 million

Warner Music Group announced a growing net loss of $26 million and flat revenue of $779 million for the fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31.

The company’s digital revenue climbed 17% to $219 million, while operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) rose 10% to $99 million.

WMG CEO Stephen Cooper said in a statement, “This quarter’s results reflect a solid performance throughout WMG as we grew digital recorded music revenue and total music publishing revnue. Going forward we will continue to focus on long-term artist development, revenue diversification and cost management.”

Company related the net loss to an increase in interest expense related to the July refinancing of certain debt in connection with Access Industries’ acquisition of WMG.

Recorded music revenue remained flat at $661 million, despite the release of 2011’s second-biggest title, Michael Buble’s “Christmas.” Company said digital revenue growth was partially offset by continuation contraction of the physical music market.

Quarter’s other major sellers included titles by Nickelback, Bruno Mars and the Black Keys.

WMG’s music publishing division Warner/Chappell reported a 3% revenue increase to $123 million, with a 36% gain in digital revenue to $15 million. Synch revenue was flat, as strength in ad-related revenue was offset by falloutsin other areas, including videogames.

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