Universal Music First-Quarter 2022 Earnings Rise – The Hollywood Reporter

Universal Music Group reported increased income and earnings for its first quarter on Tuesday amid progress throughout its companies, together with its recorded music unit, which benefited from the Encanto soundtrack, in addition to releases by the likes of The Weeknd and Japanese idol group King & Prince.

In the autumn, French telecom and media conglomerate Vivendi spun off the music main, led by chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, cashing in on a bounceback of the music sector because of a increase in streaming income. Vivendi stated it might retain a stake of about 10 p.c within the agency for a minimal interval of two years.

First-quarter earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a key profitability metric, elevated 14.9 p.c, or 14.1 p.c on a continuing foreign money foundation, to 454 million euros ($478 million).

Quarterly income elevated 21.6 p.c to 2.20 billion euros ($2.32 billion), or 16.5 p.c when assuming fixed foreign money change charges. The firm’s recorded music, music publishing and “merchandising and other” segments all contributed to the advance.

In UMG’s recorded music unit, first-quarterly income rose 16 p.c, or 11.3 p.c assuming fixed currencies, to 1.72 billion euros ($1.81 billion) as subscription and streaming income jumped 14.6 p.c on a continuing foreign money foundation, whereas bodily income rose 8.7 p.c on that foundation. But downloads and different digital income fell 20.0 p.c “as download sales continue their industrywide decline,” the agency stated.

Top sellers for the quarter included releases from Disney’s Encanto soundtrack, King & Prince, The Weeknd, Fujii Kaze and Ado, “while top sellers in the prior-year quarter included King & Prince, Morgan Wallen, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande,” the corporate stated.

Music publishing income amounted to 375 million euros ($395 million) within the first quarter, a soar of 38.4 p.c, or 32.5 p.c in fixed foreign money phrases. Helping outcomes have been a brand new accounting coverage in relation to “certain revenues that are collected through societies,” in addition to “underlying organic growth trends and initial contributions from catalog acquisitions made in prior years.”

In February, UMG unveiled a deal to amass Sting’s total music catalog, which incorporates such rock classics from The Police frontman as “Roxanne,” “Every Breath You Take” and “Message in a Bottle.” Financial phrases weren’t disclosed.

“Merchandising and other” income noticed specific beneficial properties within the first quarter, leaping 81.4 p.c, or 69.8 p.c in fixed foreign money, to 107 million euros ($113 million) as “touring-related merchandising revenue rebounded following a COVID related slowdown in live touring,” Universal Music stated.

“As important as the positive performance of the business this quarter is its breadth and strength,” stated Grainge. “Our strategic portfolio approach – creatively, geographically, technologically, and across a broad range of artists, partners, formats, businesses and revenue streams – not only deliver results now but, over the long run, we believe will produce an even better and more stable performance while delivering incredible value to our artists and shareholders.”

Added CFO and president of operations Boyd Muir: “With this quarter’s results, we continue to deliver on our commitment of long-term growth throughout the company’s major business units and across its multiple and growing revenue streams, including ad-supported streaming, subscription, physical, licensing, music publishing, and merchandising, among others. We remain enthusiastic about the diversified revenue growth that our strategy is producing.”

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