Japan's biggest record company, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), on Friday (April 28) reported mixed results for the year ended March 31, 2006.

Japan's biggest record company, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), on Friday (April 28) reported mixed results for the year ended March 31, 2006.

Revenue for SMEJ and its 29 subsidiaries totaled ¥152.5 billion ($1.3 billion), down 1.1% from the previous year. Of that amount, ¥85.7 billion ($748.2 million) came from sales and distribution of recorded music, up 0.7%. The remaining ¥66.8 billion ($582.7 million) consisted of revenue from music publishing, artist management and other SMEJ subsidiaries, down 3.3%.

Although SMEJ does not release profit figures, the company's executive VP Mamoru Sakuma says the company racked up healthy profits during the year due to each of Sony's six labels (Sony Music Records, Sony Music Japan International, Ki/oon Records, DefStar Records, SME Records and Epic Records Japan) scoring major hits.

Big-selling titles for Sony during the year included three albums -- "Love Parade," "Onegai! Senorita" and "Kizuna" -- by pop/rock band Orange Range, all of which achieved double-platinum status (i.e., sales of more than 500,000 units).

Other reasons for the profit rise include the development of several new artists into steady-selling mid-ranking acts, the Japanese market's overall rise in music-download sales, more effective spending on advertising and promotion, and reduced overhead.

Domestic product accounted for 79.4% of SMEJ's music sales, compared with 79.2% in the previous year.

Sakuma says that SMEJ has no immediate plans to make its repertoire available on the Japanese version of the iTunes Music Store. He also reiterates that SMEJ and BMG Japan will remain separate operations in Japan despite the Sony BMG merger in the rest of the world.