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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Download demand boosts EMI profit
Coldplay's latest album was 2005's biggest global seller
Strong demand for music downloads and successful albums from Coldplay and Gorillaz helped boost EMI profits.

The music group posted a 13% rise in pre-tax profits to 159.3m for the year to 31 March from 141.1m in 2005.

Digital music sales experienced the strongest growth, more than doubling to 112.1m from 46.9m last year.

Strong sales of Coldplay's X & Y album also gave the group a lift - the global bestseller of 2005 was also the biggest selling digital release in the US.

"EMI Music has significantly outperformed the industry, gaining market share in almost all territories including the US," EMI chairman Eric Nicoli said.

The group said improved digital sales - which have more than doubled industry-wide in the past year - had helped offset a fall in CD sales.

Artist appeal

EMI added its recorded music sales had "significantly outperformed" the global industry, partly as a result of the wide-ranging appeal of its artist roster.

In the past year, the group has released albums from artists as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Gorrillaz, Keith Urban and breaking acts Corinne Bailey Rae and KT Tunstall.

The results come just weeks after EMI's latest attempt to secure a takeover of rival Warner Music failed.

Warner Music, whose artists include Madonna, rejected a $4.2bn (2.2bn; 3.3bn euros) bid on 3 May.

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