Sanctuary's profits rise 88% due to Dolly effect

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The Independent Online

Dolly Parton, the country and western diva, helped Sanctuary Group to report an 88 per cent rise in pre-tax profits as a tide of established artists opted for the niche music and entertainment company.

Andy Taylor, who yesterday became executive chairman after a board reshuffle, said that Sanctuary's record division had benefited from signing several well-known acts including Dolly Parton, Megadeth and Bonnie Tyler as the major labels dropped artists to cap costs.

Mr Taylor, the former Iron Maiden manager who started Sanctuary in the Seventies, said the number of albums released from established artists would nearly double this year to 40.

The enduring appeal of Parton, who last year saw her Little Sparrow album reach gold record status in Europe, selling 100,000 copies, helped Sanctuary's pre-tax profits in the year to 30 September rise to £7.7m from £4.1m a year earlier. Turnover also nearly doubled, increasing to £82.3m. The company, which recently acquired the rights to license items for singers such as Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, is continuing its push overseas. Last year it doubled its record sales in the US while also establishing a base in Germany.

Sanctuary's shares gained 2.5p to 73p.