Australia's performing right society APRA and its sister mechanical right body AMCOS have reported a best-ever combined revenue of Australian $240 million ($233), a rise of 8%.

The result for the year ending June 30, explains APRA/AMCOS CEO Brett Cottle, was driven by gains across almost all areas of public performance licensing and "remarkable" growth in digital revenues.

APRA's overall revenue for the period rose Australian $10.6 million ($10.30 million) to Australian $183 million ($177 million), but was adversely affected by foreign revenue results, which were down 8% to $20.2 million ($19.6 million). "When assessed against the spectacular rise of the Australian dollar against major trading currencies during the year, the result can reasonably be regarded as very satisfactory in the circumstances," Cottle said.

Though it remains a "modest" part of APRA's pie, digital revenue rose 50% to Australian $30.2 million ($29 million).

Looking forward, APRA and AMCOS would pursue growth opportunities in emerging markets. "In financial terms," explains Cottle, "the year ahead looks cautiously positive, however, the current global uncertainty is escalating and we are not isolated from the adverse impact of that uncertainty. But the breadth of our operations and the relationships established with key customer groups makes us well-placed to withstand another storm."

During the latest reporting period, AMCOS achieved Australian $57.1 million ($55.5 million) in gross revenue for the most recent year, a 15% gain, thanks in no small part to a 67% rise in revenue from sales of digital downloads in Australia and New Zealand. This improvement also reflects a change in the society's billing cycle for digital service providers, resulting in a one-off additional three-months of revenue. When this factor is removed, true underlying revenue growth for the year is 7%.

Contracting sales of physical product continues to affect AMCOS' bottom line. Mechanical revenue from physical product sales slid by almost 20% to $5.4 million (Australian $5.2 million). Nowhere was the downward trend more stark than in ringtones, which fell by 42% to Australian $1.3 million ($1.26 million). Most other mechanical revenue lines saw increases over the past year.

All told, APRA boasts 66,608 members (up 8.1%), while AMCOS counts 9,425 members (up 23.8%). APRA's expense-to-revenue ratio rose during the period to 12.24% (up from 12.12%), while AMCOS operating costs grew by 3% to Australian $6.8 million ($6.6 million), for an expense-to-revenue ratio of 11.91%.

The 2010 -11 annual report can be viewed online here.