Columbia Music Entertainment posted an overall net loss of ¥29 million ($244,000) in the first quarter of 2007, the company stated in a news release.

The figure was a significant improvement over the corresponding period in the previous year when the company posted a loss of ¥327 million ($2.7 million).

Digital music sales rose 20% from the same period last year, but consolidated sales figures were down 22.2% to ¥4.406 billion ($37 million).

The gross margin profit rate rose by 9.3 points to 45.4%.

The company said the decline in consolidated sales was due, in part, to a lack of hits compared with the corresponding period last year.