Warner Music Group Revenue Jumps 8% in Q2

Warner Music Group posted significant gains in revenue and income, with especially notable bounces in digital revenue, in results for the company’s second fiscal quarter ending March 31.

Overall, revenue grew 8% to $675 million, versus $623 million for the same quarter in 2012.

Net income rose to $2 million, compared to a net loss of $36 million the same quarter last year; company attributed the gain to a 159% boost in operating income (to $57 million) and a decline in interest expenses.

The music company’s long-term focus on growing its digital side paid off with a 20% gain in digital revenue, which rose to $281 million, compared to $235 million the previous year.

Recorded music revenues grew 11% to $554 million, with digital revenue expanding 18% to $262 million. Operating income for the recorded music sector expanded a whopping 475% to $46 million.

WMG saw revenue growth in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Canada and Latin America, with strong sales from titles by Bruno Mars, Josh Groban, Fun., Ed Sheeran and Blake Shelton.

While music publishing revenue stayed flat at $127 million, the division reported an increase in digital revenue of 50%, to $21 million, thanks to increases in subscription and streaming revenue and download revenue. Performance revenue was up 4.3%, thanks to investments in film and TV assets.

However, the company noted that the digital growth was offset by expected drops in mechanical and synchronization revenue, as anticipated declines in physical sales and lower demand in commercials and video gains were seen.

Additionally, WMG confirmed a report that the company’s former chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., had exited the company’s board of directors. During the company’s earnings call, CEO Stephen Cooper said Bronfman had stepped down “to spend more time on his other business endeavors.”

Bronfman, who was replaced by Cooper as CEO in August 2011 and briefly served as chairman, had been charged with growth opportunities within WMG. His departure follows the company’s acquisition of EMI’s Parlophone label holdings, which were placed on the block as a consequence of Universal Music Group’s buy of the EMI labels.

Bronfman spearheaded the 2004 purchase of WMG from Time Warner by a group of investors. The company was sold to Access Industries for $3.3 billion in 2011.

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