Tokyo-based label Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia) recorded a consolidated net loss of ¥2.4 billion ($23 million) in the year ending March 31, 2008, compared with the previous year's net profit of ¥561 million ($5.3 million).

The company says the loss was due to continuing declines in sales of packaged media such as CDs and DVDs.

Columbia's consolidated sales totaled ¥19.2 billion ($183 million), down 34.5% from the previous year, largely due to a ¥6.6 billion reduction in sales caused by a change in accounting procedures.

Another factor behind CME's poor results for the year was the lack of strong-selling releases by major domestic acts such as female vocalists Kaela Kimura and Yo Hitoto.

In order to strengthen its operations, CME introduced the "Second Career Program" under which 119 employees applied to take early retirement at the end of March 2008.

For the year ending March 31, 2009, CME predicts consolidated sales of ¥21 billion ($200 million) and a net profit of ¥100 million ($953,000).