Writedowns take shine off improvement at EMI

EMI, the Coldplay and Beastie Boys music giant, has plunged to a loss of £349m in the year to March, as a result of significant writedowns.

The CD seller which also looks after Katy Perry and has ownership of the back catalog of the Beatles; EMI saw an uptick in annual revenues to £1.47bn.

However, the gains were more than wiped out by the need to slash the value of businesses which are being sold to a music publishing consortium including Sony and Universal Music in a deal worth £1.2bn. In total, the writedowns cost EMI £372m.

Overall, losses at EMI were down from £529m the previous year and once writedowns and staff redundancy costs are taken out of the results, operating profit rose from £69m to £133m year on year. EMI's recorded music division saw revenues rise about 2 per cent year on year to £1.03bn, despite the continued decline in sales of CDs.

Roger Faxon, the chief executive, said in an email to staff that the results represented a vindication of the management's strategy and were "an astonishing achievement in this market".

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