EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli today (July 13) told investors that a tantalizing second-half release schedule will help the company meet its full-year financial targets, and stated that the major is n

EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli today (July 13) told investors that a tantalizing second-half release schedule will help the company meet its full-year financial targets, and stated that the major is not in merger talks with any party.

During EMI's annual general meeting in London, Nicoli unveiled a second-half program of new releases from acts including Coldplay, Chemical Brothers, Chingy, Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Joss Stone and Helmut Lotti.

"With this strong release schedule and the progress we are making in both of our businesses, we remain confident that we will achieve our financial targets for the full year," Nicoli said.

According to Nicoli, the second half will account for a relatively higher proportion of sales and profits than it has in previous years. Nicoli, however, stopped short of declaring the company's financial targets.

During the question-and-answer session, he confirmed that EMI is not currently in talks on a merger. "We are very much focused on building our existing business, which we think has been doing very well in recent years," he said.

Nicoli noted that the global recorded-music market has shown "encouraging trends" in recent months, while admitting that the continental European markets remain "difficult."

EMI Recorded Music chairman/CEO Alain Levy told investors that the North American company, under vice-chairman David Munns, has achieved an unprecedented level of management strength. "I think we've made great progress in North America," Levy said. "We're backing the management. There's a great feeling of stability."

EMI stock today closed up 1.76% to 230.75p.