Warner Music trims 3Q loss on cost cuts

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 09, 2012 19:00 hrs

Warner Music Group Corp., the nation's third-largest recording company, trimmed its losses in the third quarter as it cut expenses roughly in line with falling revenue.

Revenue from the sale of digital song downloads and subscription music streaming plans continued to grow, rising 13 percent, and accounting for an increasing share of revenue. But declining sales of compact discs and the stronger dollar hurt revenue more. A rising dollar reduces the value of revenue from overseas when it's translated back into the dollar.

CEO Stephen Cooper said that excluding the currency effect, digital revenue growth outweighed the decline in revenue from CD sales.

Warner Music is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, which bought the company and took it private for about $1.3 billion in July last year. The company still has publicly traded debt that requires that it disclose its results.

The net loss in the three months to June 30 shrank to $32 million from a loss of $46 million a year ago.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $654 million from $688 million. If currency movements hadn't gone against it, revenue would have fallen 1 percent.

Digital revenue grew 13 percent to $230 million, accounting for 35 percent of total revenue, up from nearly 30 percent a year earlier.

Major sellers in the period included Linkin Park, Jason Mraz and Germany's Die Toten Hosen.

Total costs and expenses fell 5 percent, and a tax benefit also helped the latest quarter's results.

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