The big dog in the music pound, Universal Music Group, says rather than feeling sorry for itself as the music industry’s woes spiral out of control, it has managed to have a good 2008 so far.
Universal’s parent, Vivendi, the French telecoms and media conglomerate, said on Thursday that the world’s largest music company had actually grown revenue by 3.5 percent in the first nine months of 2008 on a constant currency basis to 3.14 billion euros. Though this is a 3.8 percent decline in actual currency.
The company was boosted by growth in music publishing and merchandising following the acquisitions of BMG Music Publishing and Sanctuary in 2007. The company also highlighted a 33 percent increase at constant currency in digital sales and higher license income. These all helped offset tumbling CD sales, says Universal.
The stars were the latest British blue-eyed soulstress Duffy, the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, new releases from Lil’ Wayne (pictured left) and Jack Johnson as well as carryover titles from Amy Winehouse and Rihanna.
Universal’s earnings before interest, tax and amortization rose 22 percent to 408 million euros boosted by the inclusion of BMG Music Publishing in the results, as well as credits from the downward valuation of compensation schemes linked to equity value and increased license income.