The Australasian Performing Right Association and its sister rights body the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society today reported "surprisingly strong" financial figures with total combined revenue reaching $210 million Australian ($183 million) for the year ending June 30, 2009, up 3.1% on the previous 12-month period.

Net distributable income for the year hit $183 million Australian ($159 million), up 2.5%

APRA collected $156 million Australian ($136 million) in license fees during its 2008/2009 reporting period, up almost 6% from the previous year. Of that figure, $135.9 million Australian ($118 million) was collected in license fees across Australia and New Zealand, up 4.6% on the previous year, and $20.5 million ($17 million) was derived from affiliated collecting societies around the world, a rise of 14%.

Every licensing field generated gains for APRA with the exception of radio broadcasting, where licensees suffered a downturn in advertising revenue during the reporting period. The sturdiest areas of revenue were in the public performance of recorded music and subscription TV. APRA also accumulated almost $4 million Australian ($3.4 million) in interest and incidentals.

Nearly all of AMCOS' $50.4 million Australian ($44 million) revenue was derived from licensees in Australia and New Zealand. Growth was largely driven by the increased revenue from digital downloads.

"Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, and its widening impact throughout the domestic economies of Australia and New Zealand during the year," notes APRA/AMCOS, "the increases achieved in top-line revenue and royalty pay-outs to members are highly satisfactory."

However, the societies warned of "difficult times ahead." A range of factors including adverse trading conditions and ongoing declines in sales of physical product and ringtones should see APRA's figures flatten in the coming months and AMCOS revenue to marginally decline, the rights organizations said.

APRA and AMCOS will published detailed 2008/09 figures in late October in its Year in Review document.