Japan's oldest record label Columbia Music Entertainment (CME) recorded a consolidated net loss of ¥745 million ($6.5 million) in the year ending March 31, 2004, compared with ¥1.2 billion (

Japan's oldest record label Columbia Music Entertainment (CME) recorded a consolidated net loss of ¥745 million ($6.5 million) in the year ending March 31, 2004, compared with ¥1.2 billion ($11 million) the previous year.

The Tokyo-based label, formerly known as Nippon Columbia, reports consolidated sales totalled ¥31.2 billion ($273.5 million), up 4.5% year-on-year.

"Because of the increase in the percentage of third-party production and distribution business--the profit margins of which are smaller than those of the company's in-house A&R business--the company's profits declined," said CME in a statement. CME said the biggest single factor affecting its results was "disappointing" sales of domestic pop titles in the first quarter.