Warner Music Quarterly Loss Widens to $38 Million

Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Top sellers in the quarter included Bruno Mars, R.E.M., Wiz Khalifa and Cee Lo Green as digital business contributed 48 percent of revenue in the company’s U.S. recorded music unit.

NEW YORK – Warner Music Group, which last week agreed to be acquired by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/warner-music-bought-by-len-186202), on Tuesday reported a widened loss for its latest quarter despite a slight revenue gain.

The loss of $38 million for what was the company’s fiscal second quarter compared to a loss of $25 million in the year-ago period. The latest quarter contained slightly higher severance charges than the year-ago period. Operating profit declined from $24 million to $16 million.

Revenue grew 2.4 percent to $682 million as digital revenue increased 9 percent, or 8 percent assuming constant currencies, to $220 million. That was 32 percent of total revenue. In the U.S. recorded music unit, digital contributed even 48 percent of total revenue.

The company’s recorded music top sellers in the quarter included Bruno Mars, R.E.M., Wiz Khalifa, Cee Lo Green and Lupe Fiasco.

“Our focus on disciplined A&R investments, successful revenue diversification and innovative digital strategies has helped us to grow both our recorded music and music publishing revenue,” said Warner Music chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. “We are excited to see our digital revenue approach the 50 percent milestone for U.S. recorded music and to see 60 percent of our active global artist roster signed to expanded-rights deals.”

The company last week said that due to its planned sale, it will not host an earnings conference call for the latest quarter.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai