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“We remain positive on the outlook for the music industry and expect to deliver an improved performance in the year ahead.”
——EMI Chairman Eric Nicoli
EMI MANAGES TO AVOID DEMON DAYS IN FISCAL 2005
The Company Pins Its Hopes for ’06 on Coldplay, Gorillaz and Increased Digital Sales
The bad news is that EMI (whose fancy name is EMI Group PLC) didn’t get those expected albums from Coldplay and Gorillaz in time to buoy the British company’s fiscal 2005, which ended March 31. The good news is that EMI still managed to post a profit—just not as much as last year.

The company posted a pretax profit of 141.9 million pounds ($259.5 million) on the year, a dip from last year’s 163.3 million pounds. Revenue dropped to 1.94 billion pounds ($3.55 billion) on the year, versus 2.12 billion pounds in 2004.

The third-place music group in the global marketplace earned 56.3 million pounds ($103.15 million) for the year, compared to a loss of 71.6 million pounds in fiscal ’04, when earnings took an 84.5 million-pound restructuring hit.

Said Chairman Eric Nicoli, “The impact on the overall results for the group was partially mitigated by the successful implementation of our restructuring program at EMI Music, which delivered cost savings ahead of plan. We remain positive on the outlook for the music industry and expect to deliver an improved performance in the year ahead.” Nicoli added that he expects EMI to “achieve marketshare growth, but we don't know yet what the market will do.” He expressed optimism that growth in digital music sales will offset the declining market for physical product.

Nicoli downplayed comments from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin last week that he didn’t “really care about EMI,” and that “shareholders are the greatest evil of this modern world.” Countered Nicoli, “I think Chris will have had a smile on his face when he said that. Chris is an artist, not a stockbroker.”

The report adversely affected EMI shares, which were off 1.2% to 238 pence ($4.36) in afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Gorillaz’ Demon Days (Virgin) streets today, its visibility increased by the typically clever use of single “Feel Good Inc.” in the latest iPod commercial. Coldplay is also benefiting from an Apple TV co-promotion on single “Speed of Sound” leading up to the June 7 release of X&Y (Capitol).

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