PolyGram makes it an eighth year of growth
Thursday 15 February 1996
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.
- 1 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Warren Buffett thinks the poor should stop blaming inequality on the rich
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...