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Warner Music revenue down 8%, but losses are narrow

May 15, 2012|By Alex Pham
  • Pop singer Bruno Mars is among the artists represented by Warner Music.
Pop singer Bruno Mars is among the artists represented by Warner Music. (Photo courtesy of the artist )

Warner Music Group, whose artists include Bruno Mars, Lenny Kravitz and Eric Clapton, posted an 8% drop in revenue for its second quarter, due in large part to a light album release schedule.

Sales for the quarter ended March 31 dipped to $628 million, down from $684 million as an increase in digital sales helped cushion a decline in physical CD sales. Revenue from digital sales accounted for 37% of the company's revenue, up from 32% during the same quarter last year.

Warner's net loss also dropped slightly to $36 million from $38 million a year earlier, thanks to cost-cutting measures. That helped Warner boost its cash balance to $272 million, up from $168 million at the end of 2011.

The New York record company is considered to be the third-largest in the world. In the U.S., Warner accounted for 18% of album sales so far this year, down slightly from 19% in 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Warner was acquired a year ago by Access Industries for $3.3 billion in cash and debt. Though it is now privately held, it continues to report some of its financial results because it maintains $2.2 billion in publicly traded debt.

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