"As our stable margins show, we are carefully managing our costs and regularly working to adjust our business in order to minimize the impact of a transitioning recorded music market."
—-Steve Macri, WMG EVP/CFO

WMG SHOWS LOSS, DIGITAL UP

$17 Million Quarterly Loss Offset by Digital Gains
Warner Music Group reported a Q4 net loss of $17 million this morning, following a year-ago gain of $23 million.

Revenues landed at $918 million, down 2%, though digital formats gained 5% to $184 million, and now account for 20% of revenues.

WMG stock was trading at $5.02 this morning, up 5% over yesterday’s closing price.

Said WMG EVP/CFO Steve Macri: "As our stable margins show, we are carefully managing our costs and regularly working to adjust our business in order to minimize the impact of a transitioning recorded music market. Similar to last year, we expect our release schedule in fiscal year 2010 to be back-end weighted."

Revenue from recordings increased 3.4% from last year’s Q4 to $783 million, and fell 2.2%.

Music publishing revenue increased 4.4% from last year to $141 million, and was flat on a constant-currency basis.

As of Dec. 31, WMG carried a cash balance of $339 million, total long-term debt of $1.94 billion and net debt (total long-term debt minus cash) of $1.61 billion. That compares to net debt of $1.56 billion on Sept. 30 of last year.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization was up 5% to $112 million from $107 million in Q4 last year.

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