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UNIVERSAL’S KICKASS Q1

UMG had a strong first quarter, posting an 8% rise in digital music income in Q1 $523 million. Overall revenues for Lucian Grainge’s empire were up 11.6% year-on-year in Q1 to $1.25 billion; or 2% higher in constant currency, with growth in both recorded music (2%) and publishing (3%).

Here are the bullet points:

  • Strong year-over-year streaming and subscription growth (34%) more than offset download revenue volatility (-4%) and physical product decline (-6%).
  • Best sellers included the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, strong carryover sales on Taylor Swift and Sam Smith and new releases from Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
  • EBITA was 39% better, reflecting the benefit of both revenue growth and mix, as the continued transition to digital sales, improved licensing income and a lower proportion of sales from distributed repertoire all helped margins.
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