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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May, 2005, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Album delays hit profits at EMI
Chris Martin of Coldplay
The album delay has not concerned Coldplay's Chris Martin
The world's third largest music firm, EMI, has suffered a 13% fall in profits after delays to two key albums from revenue-drivers Coldplay and Gorillaz.

Pre-tax pre-exceptional profits were 141.9m ($259.5m) in the year to the end of March, down from 163.3m in the previous year.

However, digital sales rocketed to 49.7m from 15.1m a year earlier.

Downloaded digital sales now account for 2.5% of group revenues, helping EMI recover from years of online piracy.

The music industry is counting on digital music sales downloaded from websites such as iTunes and Napster to drive profits growth, and is clamping down on illicit file-sharers by taking them to court.

"We remain confident that digital music will drive the industry forward at attractive growth rates in the coming years," said chairman Eric Nicoli.

'Challenging'

Back in February EMI warned that music sales would be down due to lower reorders than expected and the Coldplay and Gorillaz release delays.

Even though the global recorded music market fell only 1% during the year, trading remains challenging, the company warned.

The Gorillaz offering finally went on sale this week, while Coldplay's long-awaited third album will go on sale on 6 June.

Coldplay have shrugged off the financial impact of its delayed album on EMI.

The band's singer Chris Martin courted controversy last week when he told Reuters: "I don't really care about EMI. I'm not concerned about that.

"I think shareholders are the greatest evil of this modern world."

Shares in EMI closed down 1.75 pence, or 0.72%, at 241p.


SEE ALSO:
EMI shares hit by profit warning
07 Feb 05 |  Business
EMI's download music sales soar
19 Nov 04 |  Business
Artist cuts drive EMI into a loss
24 May 04 |  Business
EMI cuts artists and 1,500 jobs
31 Mar 04 |  Business


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