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"While some regions remain difficult, we expect the overall global market to perform better this year than last."
——Eric Nicoli, EMI Chairman
EMI SEES 2003 LOSS
Brits $128m in the Red, but Sales
Outperform Industry
EMI today reported a net loss of £72.5 million (about $128 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31, though pre-tax profit was at £163.3 million or $285.77 million, down 8.7% from 2002.

The net loss compares to a profit of  £234.2 reported for 2002. Overall sales declined by 2.5% to £2.12 billion, from £2.17 billion the year before.

EMI Chairman Eric Nicoli noted in a statement that EMI sales were off less than the global music industry as a whole, which shrunk by nearly 6% during the 12-month period.

Recorded music sales were off by 2%, while publishing sales increased 1.1%. The company said revenue from new sources including paid downloads and ringtones tripled for the year to over £15 million.

Recapping the year, Nicoli said, "The Group saw successes from artists and songwriters throughout the world, with notable results for artists such as Norah Jones, Coldplay, Chingy and Robbie Williams and songwriters such as Alicia Keys, Pink, Cathy Dennis, Jay-Z and Eros Ramazzotti.

"Our efforts to contain piracy are having a positive impact and we are experiencing exciting growth in legitimate digital music,” Nicoli continued. “ For the first time in several years, there are encouraging signs of market improvement, particularly in the U.S., the world's largest music market.  While some regions remain difficult, we expect the overall global market to perform better this year than last."

Among the positive results:

  • EMI Music's global marketshare increased to 13.2% from 12.7% year prior.
  • EMI Music N.A. increased marketshare by a half a percentage point to 10.5%.
  • In 2004, Q1 marketshare for EMI Music grew to 10.8%, up a point from year prior; including Caroline distribution, EMI Music marketshare is up to 12%.
  • Generating EBITDA operating profit of $285.25 million, EMI's margin remains the best among the majors at 14.3%, with Sony a distant second at 10.8% and UMG trailing at 8.8%.

In March, EMI announced additional restructuring plans that included trimming its artist roster by 20%, outsourcing disc manufacturing in the U.S. and Europe and reorganizing some European operations. When completed, the changes are expected to reduce expenses by £50 million per year at a cost of 1,500 jobs.

EMI said it would leave its full-year dividend of eight pence per share intact. EMI shares were down nearly 3% on the London exchange earlier today.
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