Digital sales bolster EMI

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EMI on Wednesday said it was on track to meet expectations as the world’s third largest music group reported that interim pre-tax profits fell to £3.2m from £46.8m.

Underlying profit before tax fell from £41m to £18.6m, after taking into account the impact of the fraud in the group’s recorded music operations in Brazil, uncovered in October.

Group revenues fell 4.1 per cent in constant currency terms to £867.9m, with digital revenues continuing to grow strongly, rising to £62.4m and representing 9.4 per cent of the music division’s revenue, up from 5.6 per cent last time.

Eric Nicoli, chairman, said: “The results for the first half of the financial year largely reflect the phasing of EMI Music’s planned release schedule which, as previously indicated, has a greater weighting to the second half of the financial year than in prior years.”

The company expects to release new albums from the likes of Robbie Williams, Joss Stone and Norah Jones in the second half.

Underlying diluted earnings per share slipped to 1.4p from 3.8p in the prior year. The interim dividend is held at 2p per share.

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