Thorn EMI explores avenues in multimedia: Group may expand CD-ROM business and move into publishing

THORN EMI, the music, rental and HMV retailing group, is exploring a move into book publishing and an expansion of its interest in CD-ROMs to bolster its position in the multimedia marketplace.

Simon Duffy, group finance director, said yesterday that Thorn had examined several avenues of expansion - such as the management of copyright, where because of its success with EMI Music, it felt it held a competitive advantage.

'We looked at films and software but if we were to move, it would be more likely to be in book publishing. Music and book publishing require similar skills in picking artists and authors, editing, handling advances and royalties and managing physical distribution.'

Many EMI artists want to put out music videos on CD-ROM, he said, and EMI will this year release products by the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Music also plays a part in educational CD-ROMs, and Thorn would want to work with the software companies concerned.

Thorn recently established collaborative investments in music television channels and digital cable radio in Europe and the US, partly to protect its music from copyright piracy, which is reckoned to cost the music industry dollars 2bn a year.

Thorn reported a rise in pre-tax profits from pounds 273.5m to pounds 326.5m for the year to March after a fall in exceptional charges from pounds 51.9m to pounds 17.7m. The final dividend is increased by 8.7 per cent to 25p making a total of 34p against 32p.

Thorn is focusing its efforts on the core businesses of EMI Music, Thorn Group rental and HMV music retailing, which increased operating profits by 21.5 per cent to pounds 382.4m and lifted margins from 9.8 per cent to 10.4 per cent.

But group operating profits rose by less than 1 per cent to pounds 382.5m because of a pounds 13.1m slump into losses of pounds 11.6m at Thorn security and electronics and the loss of profits from businesses sold, including Thorn Lighting and a majority stake in Thames Television.

Divestments last year raised pounds 192.3m, and analysts speculated that the sale of Thorn's security and electronics businesses could raise up to pounds 130m.

EMI Music lifted operating profits by 25 per cent to pounds 246.1m on a 17 per cent sales increase to pounds 1.76bn, including a pounds 90m contribution from Virgin, bought for pounds 560m in March 1992.

Thorn Group rental increased profits to pounds 130.2m as margins improved slightly from 8.3 per cent to 8.6 per cent, while HMV more than doubled profits to pounds 6.1m on sales of pounds 404m.

Sir Colin Southgate, chairman, said: 'These results underscore our belief in the considerable potential of these businesses.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map