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News October 27, 2015

Streaming offsets a la carte says UMG in first-half figures

UMG has this morning reported a year-on-year dip of 10.4% in its first-half figures after generating €2bn in revenues.

Owners Vivendi sought to point out that the divestment of Parlophone in 2013 resulted in the 10.4% fall (6% at constant currency): without it the figure would have registered at 3.2% compared to the same period last year.

Digital sales grew 3% (at constant currency) and, while it failed to break out figures, “significant growth in subscription and streaming revenues more than offset the decline in digital download sales.”

The Disney Frozen OST was singled out as the biggest success for the label group in the first six months, where carryover sales from Lorde, Katy Perry and Avicii also buoyed income. Top sellers in the first half of 2013 included Rihanna, Imagine Dragons, the Les Misérables movie soundtrack and Justin Bieber.

UMG’s EBITA was €153 million, up 14.5% at constant currency (+7.0% at actual currency) compared to the first half of 2013 and up 41.9% excluding last year’s contribution from the divested Parlophone.

The “favourable” performance, says the label group, reflects overhead savings and lower restructuring costs. Vivendi, in its opening statement, drew a spotlight on the music arm saying its solid performance contributed to the wider company’s increase in EBITA.

On August 1, UMG completed the sale of its approximate 13% ownership interest in Beats to Apple for proceeds of $409m.


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