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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 18:08 GMT
EMI warns over music sales
Robbie Williams launching his new EMI album Escapology
Robbie Williams signed with EMI for 80m
The media giant EMI is back in the black after a programme of cutting jobs and clearing out poorly performing singers.


This market weakness will now result in full year sales in recorded music below last year's level

Eric Nicoli, EMI chairman
But the company has warned that music sales will continue to slide.

EMI's shares fell more than 6% to 173 pence on the London stock market opened.

The company, whose recording artists include Coldplay and Kylie Minogue, turned losses of 2m ($3.2m) a year ago into a profit of 42m in the six months to September.

But the profits were lower than industry-watchers had been expecting.

Better profits

EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli warned: "In the second half of the financial year we expect the global recorded music market to continue to decline, but at a reducing rate.

"This market weakness will now result in full year sales in recorded music below last year's level."

Even so, he said profit margins within the business would be "significant " and continue to accelerate.

And he said the group would be able to "deliver a substantial full year improvement at all levels of profitability".

Historic Robbie deal

In May, EMI sold part of its stake in the HMV record chain.

That, along with the sale of a stake in Viva Media, helped to produce an extra, exceptional profit of 174.8m during the half-year.

The company said it would now sell its remaining stake in HMV.

EMI signed a 80m five album agreement with pop superstar Robbie Williams last month.

The company said it was a "historic deal".

"We not only profit from album sales, but also participate in revenue generated through other music-related activities such as touring and merchandise."

Taking on the pirates

EMI warned that it would be stepping up its battle against the music pirates who illegally copy its music.

It said that although piracy had always been a problem it had reached "substantial proportions" in 2001.

Large-scale, commercial physical piracy remained a problem in Latin America and South Asia but the company said that, more worryingly, it had now spread to southern Europe.

And the company said digital piracy was also a problem.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Aaron Hestlehurst
"This year EMI has been reinventing itself"
Tim Hogman, city commentator
"Music sales are just collapsing"
See also:

11 Oct 02 | Entertainment
02 Oct 02 | Entertainment
20 Jun 02 | Business
21 May 02 | Business
13 May 02 | Entertainment
12 Apr 02 | Entertainment
15 Oct 01 | Business
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