Warner Music Group posts highest quarterly revenue in its history as a standalone company

Warner Music Group posts highest quarterly revenue in its history as a standalone company

Warner Music Group has issued its financial results for the period ended December 31, 2019, the major’s fiscal Q1.

Overall WMG revenue grew by 4.4% year-on-year (or 5.5% in constant currency) to $1.256 billion (£957m) – the highest quarterly result in its 16-year history as a standalone company.

Growth in recorded music digital, artist services and expanded-rights revenue, as well as in music publishing digital and sync revenue. was partially offset by declines in physical sales, licensing revenue and in music publishing performance revenue. Revenue grew in all regions. 

Recorded music streaming revenues increased by 17.3% year-on-year to $589m (£448.7m). The quarterly results showed that streaming now represents 54.3% of recorded music revenues. Big streaming artists in the quarter included Tones And I, Ed Sheeran and Stormzy.

Overall digital revenue grew by 12.6% year-on-year (or 13.5% in constant currency), and represented 56.2% of total revenue, compared to 52.1% in the prior-year quarter.

Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO, said: "Our Q1 results were very strong. We achieved the highest quarterly revenue in our 16-year history as a standalone company. We’re especially pleased with this result considering the strength of the prior-year quarter. The combination of our creative expertise, global expansion, commercial innovation and financial discipline makes us very confident about our long-term growth prospects.”

During the earnings call, Cooper suggested that relations with streaming services were now better than ever.

"We have put the India negotiation with Spotify behind us," he said.

Commenting on the major's performance, Cooper added: "We believe we've only just begun to realise Warner Music Group's true potential as a global music powerhouse."

“We again solidly grew both revenue and OIBDA,” added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s EVP and CFO. “Our cash position also remains strong with $462 million on the balance sheet at quarter-end."

Levin noted emerging opportunities for streaming revenues including fitness clubs and short-form video platforms, such as TikTok.

Operating income was $165m (£126m) compared to $147m (£112m) in the prior-year quarter. OIBDA was $236m, up 9.8% from $215m (£164m) in the prior-year quarter. 

Net income was $122m (£93m) compared to $86m (£65m) in the prior-year quarter.  

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