PPL CEO Fran Nevrkla Steps Down; Announces 2010 Licensing Revenue Up 10.7%
PPL CEO Fran Nevrkla Steps Down; Announces 2010 Licensing Revenue Up 10.7%

It was also announced today that long-standing chief executive officer Fran Nevrkla is to step down from his role as CEO of PPL, the U.K. licensing body for record companies and performers, and the video licensing company VPL effective January 1 2012. Nevrkla, who was appointed CEO in October 2000, will continue to serve as chairman of both companies. Peter Leathem, who has been appointed managing director with immediate effect, will succeed Nevrkla as CEO of PPL and VPL.

"I am thrilled and deeply honoured to be appointed CEO of the company at the beginning of 2012," said Leathem, who joined PPL as head of legal and business affairs in 2002 and was appointed executive director in 2008, in a statement.

"My thanks firstly must go to Fran who has taken the company to a level that would have been unforeseen by the industry when he came here in 2000," he went on to say.

"As the industry continues its evolution, I am fully aware of the responsibility of running a company that this century has already collected nearly one and a quarter billion pounds in licensing revenue. I very much look forward to working with all the company's stakeholders to manage the rights mandated to us," continued Leathem.

"Much has been achieved over the last 10 years but yet more has to be done and strived for and Peter's appointment will provide the necessary degree of stability and continuity to the organization which is so important to ensure further successes and achievements in the future," commented the outgoing Nevrkla.

"I must say an enormous thank you to all my friends, colleagues and contacts in the wider music industry, the political arena and elsewhere for their visible and loyal support and encouragement to me personally over the years. A special thank you goes to the main PPL Board, the Performer Board and the various committees all of whom have played such a crucial role during the 'PPL journey'."

On the same day as Nevrkla's announcement, PPL issued its financial results for the year ending December 2010, reporting a 10.7% year-on-year climb in revenue, up from £129.6 million ($212.1m) in 2009 to £143.5 million ($234.9m).

Public performance income also grew by 2%, rising from £48.9 million ($80.1m) to £50.1million ($82m), reported PPL at the organisation's annual general meeting, held today (June 8) in London. There was also good news concerning broadcasting and online revenue, which rose by 4.5% from £59.1million ($96.8m) to £61.7million ($101.1m).

International revenues, meanwhile, grew 47% to £32 million ($52.4m) - a substantial increase credited to the success of U.K. artists overseas in 2010, widespread investment in systems and the growth of collections from music licensing companies in foreign markets. In 2010 PPL signed new agreements with licensing organisations in Bulgaria, Jamaica, Latvia and New Zealand, taking the number of international contracts the company now has to over 50. PPL's record company membership also rose by 26% year-on-year and now stands at 6,300; Performer membership climbed by 15% to 47,500.