EMI confident of second half turnaround

Music group EMI said albums from Robbie Williams, Norah Jones and Tina Turner will help it to meet full year expectations, despite a 5% slide in first half revenues.

Music group EMI said albums from Robbie Williams, Norah Jones and Tina Turner will help it to meet full year expectations, despite a 5% slide in first half revenues.

EMI said the drop - which was 3% on a constant currency basis - was due to the group's release schedule which favours the second half.

The trading update is the first since EMI shelved plans for a £1.35bn takeover of US counterpart Warner Music Group.

Pre-tax profits for the half year are expected to be approximately £27m, EMI said. This compares with £41m in the same period last year.

EMI said in its music division revenues declined 4% at constant currency levels for the six months to September 30. Digital revenues continue to grow and represented 9% of turnover in the division.

Releases over the period included albums from established performers such as Janet Jackson and breakthrough acts such as Lily Allen.

During the second half, which includes Christmas, new releases are scheduled from All Saints, Moby, Depeche Mode along with a Beatles release containing new music featured in the Cirque du Soleil show Love in Las Vegas.

EMI said: "The planned artist releases, continued growth in digital revenues and delivery of the announced cost saving, are expected to drive strong growth in underlying revenues and profits in the second half of the financial year."

In its publishing division, which sells music rights to film and television makers, EMI said it expected to report first half revenues in line with the previous year.

The Warner talks collapsed after a European court cast doubt on whether regulators would allow further consolidation in the music industry.

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