LONDON (Hypebot) – While the numbers lack the specificity of a public stock filing, figures released by privately owned EMI point to a turnaround for the major label group. Driven in large part by cost cutting and currency fluctuations, EMI also maintained its 9.5% global market share increasing its US share by 1.5%.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 200% to £163 million ($245M US) driven by a £48 million ($72M US) reduction in returns and savings from restructuring ; EMI says it is on track to deliver the £200m in cost savings identified at the time of acquisition one year ago. The common generated cash flow of £190 million ($286M USD) during the year up from £142 million ($214M US) in 2008. Net sales increased just 4% of £1,072 million ($1612M USD). Excluding the currency impact, sales were down 10%, slightly more than the contraction in the overall industry.
The report did not break out digital sales as a separate revenue stream preferring to include it with other non-physical revenue. Overall non-physical sales (including digital, licensing and rights) represented over 35% of income according to EMI, compared with just 20% in the prior year.
Commenting on the performance, Elio Leoni-Sceti, Chief Executive of EMI Music, said in statement, "These results are an important first step in building EMI’s future. We cannot afford to be complacent however since there is still a great deal of work to be done to restore EMI to its former greatness and we are doing it in the face of challenging economic conditions. Looking ahead we have some exciting new releases coming up, a much deeper understanding of the music consumer and a new engaged relationship with our artists to build on."
Best sellers during the year were led by Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’, the industry’s most successful album globally in 2008. EMI’s other top releases were from a mix of new and established artists including Katy Perry, Lily Allen, Darius Rucker and Herbert Grönemeyer.
2009 is off to a decent start with the new album from Depeche Mode, ‘Sounds of the Universe’, debuting at number one in 20 countries. Upcoming in 2009 are new albums from Air, Alice in Chains, Corinne Bailey Rae, Beastie Boys, Bebe, Glay, Gorillaz, David Guetta, Norah Jones, LeToya, Massive Attack, Kylie Minogue, Willie Nelson, 30 Seconds to Mars, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams. On 9 September EMI will release the original Beatles catalogue, digitally re-mastered for the first time, the same date as the release of the ‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ video game.
New signings releasing debut albums include Adelita’s Way, Hockey, Mpho, My Favorite Highway, and Priscilla Renea.