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MERCK'S MID-YEAR NUMBERS

Net income for the Hipgnosis Songs portfolio increased to $27.8m in the six-month period between 3/31 and 9/30, ahead of management’s expectations for the period. Adjusted operating profit for the period before tax increased to $17.3m.

As at 9/30, the company had invested approximately £319.4m in acquiring 27 catalogs, giving them interests in 7,475 songs. Since 10/1, the company has spent £186.1m to acquire another 15 catalogs, among them Jeff Bhasker, Timbaland and Fraser Smith.

Hipgnosis Songs Founder Merck Mercuriadis reported that during the April-September period the catalogs of Benny Blanco and The Chainsmokers beat expectations and that the Ari Levine, Neal Schon, Bernard Edwards and Itaal Shur catalogs all grew strongly on the comparative period in the prior year.

Streaming revenues also beat forecasts, with 15% growth in the first half of 2019 compared to the second half of 2018.

“One step at a time, we are amassing the leverage and the support necessary to bring positive change to where the songwriter sits in the economic equation,” Mercuriadis said. “We will use our leverage and support to positively impact where the songwriter sits which is not only important for the creative community but is in total alignment with the best interest of our investors.”

He noted hit songs produce “reliable and predictable income,  and is “now more investible than gold and oil.”

The fair value of catalogs stands at £344.6m, which would be $453.9m today as the British pound has gained strength against the dollar over the last two months. The value of the catalogs has risen 5% (£16.6m) since 4/1.

Hipgnosis remains on track to achieve target dividend of 5 pence per Ordinary Share for the full financial year.

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