XL Recordings Reports Double-Digit 2021 Revenue Increase After Adele Album Rights Revert

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XL Recordings Limited achieved a material revenue increase during 2021 after securing the stateside rights to Adele’s first three studio albums, according to a newly released earnings report.

XL Recordings just recently shed light upon its strong 2021 showing, which contributed to a noteworthy revenue jump within Beggars Group. The latter company (which owns 50 percent of XL Recordings, the remaining half of which belongs to Richard Russell) revealed that it had achieved a roughly $22 million year-over-year income hike in 2021.

And as mentioned at the outset, XL Recordings’ 2021 revenue improvement was driven in part by royalties from Adele’s initial three studio albums, 19 (2008), 21 (2011), and 25 (2015). Adele released the works via XL before dropping 30 through Sony Music’s Columbia Records last year, and multiple outlets towards 2021’s conclusion reported that XL would reclaim the U.S. rights to 19, 21, and 25 after previously licensing the projects to Sony.

For further reference, Adele currently boasts 41.88 million monthly listeners on Spotify, where “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep” have racked up a combined total of over 2.5 billion streams.

Bearing in mind these pertinent background details, XL Recordings Limited posted income of £56.88 million (up about £18.21 million YoY) for 2021 and said that it had released eight projects (up from six) on the year.

Within the revenue figure, XL communicated that £47.91 million had derived from wholly owned, non-joint venture divisions, a YoY increase of more than £15 million. Meanwhile, for the non-JV total, the business relayed that cost of sales had come in at £20.46 million in 2021, up from £13.84 million in 2020.

Additionally, the company identified £2.41 million in distribution costs for 2021 and £12.10 million in administrative expenses – both rose year over year – and pinpointed £11.80 million in annual profit, up almost 98 percent from 2020.

Digging into the above-noted £47.91 million in non-JV 2021 income for XL, the entity pulled down £29.16 million (up 25.74 percent YoY) from “sales and licensing of sound recordings,” £2.20 million from “music publishing sales” (up 143.51 percent YoY), and £16.55 million from “US distributed sales” (up 95.37 percent YoY), the analysis shows.

Lastly, in terms of XL Recordings’ 2021 financials, the report also states that the company generated £10.34 million from the United Kingdom market during the 12-month stretch – a YoY improvement of about £2 million – whereas income attributable to the rest of the world grew by north of £13 million to crack £37.57 million.

On the staff side, execs acknowledged paying a total of £1.91 million in wages and salaries to its employees and directors (35 persons in all) during 2021. However, more than £982,000 of the total was chalked up to directors’ compensation, and one of these directors is said to have benefited from a £568,999 paycheck.