PPL, the U.K. licensing body for record companies and performers, has issued financial results that show revenue for 2008 up 11% year-on-year, from £115 million ($173.8 million) to £127.6 million ($192.8 million). The licensing revenue - from U.K. broadcasters and licensed businesses that use sound recordings in public, and for similar uses overseas - has increased by 54% in the last four years.

The money actually paid to performers and record companies (distributable net revenue) also increased by 11%, to £110.3 million ($166.7 million). The cost to revenue ratio remains at 14.6%.

International revenue recorded strong growth for PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd), up 69% from 2007 to 2008 at £15.4 million ($23.3 million). In a statement, PPL said the growth reflects "an increased number of reciprocal agreements with overseas music licensing companies (now up to 42), a focus on maximizing returns from each of our existing reciprocal agreements, and continued growth in the amount of repertoire PPL controls internationally." The international growth over the last three years has been 400%.

Public performance and dubbing revenues increased 11% to £54.2 million ($81.9 million), while broadcast revenue of £58.1 million ($87.8 million) represented a 2% increase, which PPL described as an "impressive result considering the significant decline in revenue from commercial radio."

"I am delighted that in 2008 we have been able to deliver yet another set of excellent results in spite of a rather difficult business environment," said chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla in a statement. "We shall continue making every effort to ensure that the rights which the record companies and performers have kindly vested in us are licensed and monetized at the highest appropriate and commercially acceptable levels."

PPL represents 3,400 record companies and 39,500 performers in the U.K. The London-based company has 42 bilateral agreements with similar organizations around the world, representing a further 3,400 record companies and 29,000 performers.