Kazutomo Enomoto has been appointed Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) (SMEJ) CEO/representative director, with effect from June 17. Enomoto, who is currently CEO/representative director of sister compa

Kazutomo Enomoto has been appointed Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) (SMEJ) CEO/representative director, with effect from June 17. Enomoto, who is currently CEO/representative director of sister company Sony Culture Entertainment (SCE), will succeed Masao Morita, who has headed SMEJ -- Japan's biggest record company -- since April 1, 2003.

Morita, son of Sony Corp. founder Akio Morita, will join Sony Corp. as a senior VP in charge of Sony brand promotion. At press time it was not clear who will replace Enomoto at SCE.

Meanwhile, on April 30 SMEJ reported its sales for the year ending March 31, 2004, were up marginally from the previous year, in contrast to the continuing sales decline being experienced by the Japanese industry as a whole.

Revenues at SMEJ and its 30 subsidiaries totalled ¥144.7 billion ($1.3 billion), up 0.2% from the previous year. Of that amount, ¥78.7 billion ($717 million) came from sales and distribution (including product from other record companies) of recorded music, marking a 1.1% decline. The remaining ¥66 billion ($601 million), up 1.8%, comprised revenue from music publishing, artist management and other SMEJ subsidiaries.

SMEJ does not release profit figures, but executive VP Mamoru Sakuma says the company had a "good year."

Sony reported strong sales by several relatively new domestic acts during the year, including female vocalist Mika Nakashima, male vocal duo Chemistry and rap group Soul'd Out. Domestic product accounted for 78.9% of the company's sales in the year to March 31, compared with 72% in the previous year.

Looking ahead, Sakuma says he has no comment regarding what will happen to SMEJ if the Sony-BMG merger goes ahead. However, it is understood that SMEJ and local BMG affiliate BMG Funhouse will remain as separate entities should the merger take place.