WMG Posts 10-Month Uptick

Warner Music Group today (Dec. 13) reported improved financial performance for the 10 months ended September 2004. The company's net loss was $136 million, compared with a net loss of $239 million in

Warner Music Group today (Dec. 13) reported improved financial performance for the 10 months ended September 2004. The company's net loss was $136 million, compared with a net loss of $239 million in the corresponding 10 months of 2003.

The company shifted its financial year in 2004, resulting in the shortened 10-month reporting period.

Total revenues for the period were $2.5 billion, up 2% from the 10 months ending September 2003. The worldwide recorded music division saw revenues increase 1% to $2.06 billion, but much of that is due to favorable currency exchange rates; excluding foreign exchange, the division's revenue decreased about 4%. In the United States, recorded music revenue declined about 3% to $977 million.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) increased to $219 million from $75 million in the previous year, factoring in restructuring and other outstanding costs in the wake of its sale by Time Warner to a private investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr., who now serves as WMG chairman/CEO, and private equity firm Thomas H. Lee.

Operating income for the 10-month period grew to $7 million for the period, compared to a loss of $197 million in the previous year's comparable period. This improvement was in part due to lower depreciation and amortization costs stemming from the restructuring.

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