PolyGram makes it an eighth year of growth

ROGER TRAPP

PolyGram, the international entertainment company, overcame a slow second half to achieve its eighth consecutive year of sales and profits growth in 1995.

The company, which warned of flat earnings for the year shortly before Christmas, saw sales in the year to 31 December rise 9.2 per cent in local currency terms to 8.8bn guilders and profits rise 3.6 per cent to 741m guilders. The previous four years had seen average profits growth of 20 per cent, a performance repeated in the first half of 1995, when net income rose 20 per cent to 270m guilders on total sales of 4bn guilders.

It blamed the difficulties in the usually stronger second six months on a weaker-than-normal performance by the pop division, the late delivery of several important albums, the absence of a success to match the hit film Four Weddings and a Funeral and the strong appreciation of its reporting currency, the Dutch guilder. The company argues that local currency growth is the true measure of its performance since less than 5 per cent of its revenues come from the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Alain Levy, president and chief executive of the company that is building a films division alongside its music business, said he would consider the acquisition of any available film studios, including MGM. But he said the price would have to be right - a reference to PolyGram's failure to acquire the Samuel Goldwyn library after being outbid late last year by John Kluge's Metromedia International Group.

The films division, which now accounts for 14 per cent of sales, was developing well, with costs under control. Although there was no hit like the previous year's Four Weddings, it had enjoyed success with Nell, French Kiss, The Usual Suspects and Shallow Grave. It also received seven Oscar nominations earlier this week, including four for Dead Man Walking, the Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon film that opens in the UK shortly.

Although pop slipped in the second period, it still contributed 65.8 per cent of the total sales for 1995, with 31 albums selling more than 1 million copies, compared with 29 in 1994. PolyGram would not be drawn on which artists had delivered records late, but pointed out that this year's schedule would include releases from such well-known acts as Sting, U2 and Lionel Ritchie. Last year's biggest sellers were The Cranberries, Bon Jovi and Janet Jackson.

The jazz division had another good year, but the three classical labels, which account for 10 per cent of sales and include the renowned Deutsche Grammophon, were held back by a lack of crossover hits and soft-catalogue sales.

Mr Levy said: "Our 1995 results must be seen in the context of currency effects and our overall track record of growth.

"We have made good progress in many markets and our proposal to increase our dividend by 12 per cent reflects our confidence in the future," he said.

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories