The United Kingdom's MCPS-PRS Alliance, which manages common activities between the mechanical right and performing right societies, on May 12 issued a mixed financial report for the year 2004.

LONDON -- The United Kingdom's MCPS-PRS Alliance, which manages common activities between the mechanical right and performing right societies, on May 12 issued a mixed financial report for the year 2004.

Strong results across all its activities saw the Performing Right Society achieve record levels of revenue and distributions during the year. Distributable income of £256.2 million ($480 million) was generated, up 6% from the previous year. At the same time, total revenue of more than £297 million ($556 million) was collected, up 5% on 2003.

Each of the PRS' three main revenue streams -- U.K. public performance, U.K. broadcast and online, and international -- out-performed the previous financial period.

"The 2004 results show there is continued strong demand for music in both the public performance and broadcast environments," comments MCPS-PRS Alliance managing director Steve Porter.

The PRS, which has 44,000 members, will hold its annual meeting July 1 in London.

Meanwhile, a shortfall in CD sales contributed to a downturn in 2004 distributable income at the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society. The MCPS registered a 3% year-on-year shortfall in distributable money to £219.3 million ($410 million).

"These are good results for MCPS given the challenging climate for audio products in 2004," notes Porter, who remains upbeat on future growth in licensing from non-audio products, including ringtones and online sources.

The MCPS, which has about 16,000 members, says audio product distributions rose by 2% in 2004 when excluding the loss of the Universal Music's European central licensing agreement.

Universal Music International last year entered a pact with Belgian author's rights association Sabam covering mechanical reproduction rights. That deal went into effect on July 1, 2004, at the conclusion of an eight-year deal between UMI and MCPS.

The jointly-owned MCPS-PRS alliance reported a cost-to-income ratio of less than 12% in 2004.

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