Universal Music Revenues Slip Slightly, Digital Growth Continues

Apple is renowned for its earth-shattering financial scorecards, though these days, labels are usually less celebratory.

During the second quarter, Universal Music Group shed a few pounds financially, though its revenue scorecard was mostly stable.  Parent company Vivendi Universal disclosed quarterly sales of 1.068 billion euros ($1.464 billion), a decrease of less than one percent over the same period last year.  For the first half, the sales drop was a more pronounced 4.9 percent, a reflection of difficult physical sales conditions.

The label, easily the largest of the roost, was buffeted somewhat by adverse currency fluctuations during the quarter.  But the scorecard was buoyed by a number of factors, including incoming revenue from the freshly-acquired BMG Music Publishing.  Excluding that revenue source, and at constant currencies, the revenue dip was 0.8 percent during the three-month window, according to Vivendi.

Despite a downer recorded music market, Universal reported a quarterly performance that beat industry averages, though specific information related to unit sales were not disclosed.  Also absent from the report were critical net income statements, though Vivendi normally separates its revenue and profit calculations.  Elsewhere, the company benefited from gains in the Japanese market, and continued increases in digital asset sales.  The company reported digital sales of 155 million euros ($212.5 million) during the quarter, a rise of 49 percent.  Both mobile and online sales were robust during the period, according to the financial summary.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.