The Swiss collection society Suisa in Zurich has reported the highest ever income for distribution to members in the organization's 86-year history.

The sum to be distributed to its 26,000 composers, authors and publishers increased by 7.9% to 121.6 million Swiss francs ($112.5 million). As a result of this performance, it was possible to reduce the cost coverage deduction on performing and broadcasting rights from 19% to 17%, according to Suisa president Hans Ulrich Lehmann.

Total income from the licensing of copyrights climbed by around 7% to 141.3 million Swiss francs ($130.7 million) in 2008.

There are two main reasons for the record distribution figure. First, income from performance rights rose by 5% to 37.6 million Swiss francs ($34.8 million), thanks in part to a 6% increase in concert revenue.

Also, the licensing of broadcasting rights remains Suisa's most important source of income (44% share), totalling 55.5 million Swiss francs ($51.4 million). These takings - a new high - were up 1.3% on a strong result in 2007.

However, the crisis that has been afflicting sales of recorded music in Switzerland over the past few years continued to worsen last year. This is reflected in income from the licensing of mechanical rights for recorded music, which was down 14% to 16 million Swiss francs ($14.6 million), a fall of 2.63 million Swiss francs ($2.4 million) over the previous year.

Total reproduction rights revenue, including mechanical revenues from recorded music and other audio-visual products featuring music, came to 20.2 million Swiss francs ($18.4 million), down 10.6% from 22.6 million Swiss francs ($20.6 million) the prior year.

Income from online business is rising, up 8.3% to 1.3 million Swiss francs ($1.2 million). Ringtone revenue is down 7.2% to 346,000 Swiss francs ($320,000).