A public spat which culminated in Ministry of Sound and Gut defecting from AIM's membership was today cited as a reason behind the indie association's widening losses in 2007.

Speaking at AIM's annual general meeting today at London's Earl's Court, the indie music company's chair/CEO Alison Wenham said, "As you know, we had a fairly big fallout over the Warner debacle so we lost about £30,000 ($59,000) there. But we recovered as best we could."

AIM's loss for the year came to £41,518 ($81,930), against a loss of £2,049 ($4,043) in 2006. Total revenue for 2007 reached £888,466 ($1.753 million), up by £5,000 ($9,800) from the previous year.

Dance label MoS had engaged in a war of words with AIM early last year, ignited by Impala's agreement with Warner Music Group in which the Brussels-based trade association vowed to support a WMG bid proposal for EMI Group.

In protest, MoS and Gut subsequently resigned from AIM, which is a member of Impala. Wenham today said Gut had since returned to the AIM fold.

Wenham said the association came through the situation with "dignity" and "some lessons learned."

The executive, who has just picked up the mantle as founding chair of the new independent festivals trade association AIF, announced she would step aside as president of the Worldwide Independent Network this September.

And in a rallying cry to the indies community, Wenham called on the industry to fight back against those doomsayers in the blogosphere who continually berate the business and its artists. "Take the bloggers on," she said. "Let's motivate this army that we have. We have a list in the office (of bloggers)," she quipped. "You go out and get them."

Also during AIM's annual meeting, held during the London Calling conference, four new members were elected to its board. They were Kerry Harvey-Piper, co-founder and director, Red Grape Records; Julie Weir, A&R director, Visible Noise; Simon Raymonde, director of Bella Union; and Everything But the Girl's Ben Watt, who is founder of Buzzin' Fly.

They replace Feargal Sharkey, Echo's CEO Jeremy Lascelles, Absolute Marketing & Distribution's Henry Semmence and Automatic Songs' Russell Coultart, who stood down in line with the association's rotation rules.

Next year's AGM may take part during an AIM Big Weekend event, which will celebrate the association's 10th anniversary, Wenham suggested.

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