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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 09:22 GMT
Coldplay and Gorillaz boost EMI
Coldplay's Chris Martin
Coldplay are one of EMI's biggest acts
Strong sales of the latest releases by Coldplay and Gorillaz have helped to lift profits at music group EMI.

The company also said it had seen sales of digital music, through sites such as iTunes, more than double.

EMI said pre-tax profits before exceptional items in the six months to 30 September were up 9% to 41m ($71m).

Coldplay's X&Y album sold 7.5 million copies during the period, while the Demon Days album by Gorillaz racked up sales of 3.4 million.

Revenues grew 5.8% to 924.6m and EMI said its share of the global music market had risen to 13.1% from 12.5%.

We remain confident that digital music will return the industry to growth
Eric Nicoli, EMI chairman

The company added that it was on target to meet full-year profit targets thanks to a strong set of scheduled releases.

The new Robbie Williams album, Intensive Care, which was released last month, has already sold 3.5 million copies, EMI said.

Digital boost

EMI also reported continued strong growth in digital music sales, with its sales up 142.4% on the same period last year to 44.6m.

Digital sales now represent 4.9% of EMI's revenues, up from 2.1% last year, and the company said the move to digital was set to revive the music industry as a whole.

"We remain confident that digital music will return the industry to growth in due course," said EMI chairman Eric Nicoli.

EMI said that the rapid growth of digital sales had almost offset the decline in physical sales in the music industry as a whole, with the total global recorded market shrinking by about 0.9%.

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