Tokyo-based label Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia) today (May 24) reported a consolidated net profit of ¥157 million ($1.5 million) in the year ending March 31, compared wi

Tokyo-based label Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia) today (May 24) reported a consolidated net profit of ¥157 million ($1.5 million) in the year ending March 31, compared with the previous year's loss of ¥745 million ($6.5 million). This marks CME's first consolidated net profit in 14 years.

Columbia's consolidated sales totaled ¥32.6 billion ($303 billion), up 4.6% from the previous year.

Contributing to the company's improved performance were male vocalist Kiyoshi Hikawa's hit single "Hatsukoi Ressha/Kuchibue no Minato," which was the first "enka"-genre song by a male artist to reach No. 1 in Japan in 18 years. Female vocalist Yo Hitoto's also had success with the single "Hanamizuki."

"The company has now achieved its goal of establishing sustainable profitability that doesn't rely on achieving massive hits or expanding sales," CME said in a statement.

CME says that another reason for its strong sales performance was a better-than-expected result from its third-party distribution business, which it carries out on behalf of independent record labels R&C Japan and Dreamusic, for example.