Warner Music Group has announced its fiscal third quarter results, with revenue down five percent as the company also shrank its net loss. WMG revenue fell from $688 million in fiscal Q3 2011 to $654 million. Digital revenue grew by 13 percent from $203 million to $230 million. Operating income dropped 30 percent to $7 million, as WMG's net loss also decreased 30 percent to $32 million.
"There were several bright spots in our results for the quarter," said WMG CEO Stephen Cooper. "In our Music Publishing business, we grew OIBDA, OIBDA margin and constant-currency revenue. In our Recorded Music business, strong growth in digital revenue more than offset the decline in physical revenue on a constant-currency basis, showing the promise of the industry's transformation. We look forward to the fourth quarter and the next fiscal year, as we work to accelerate our progress."
"Our Unlevered After-Tax Cash Flow was strong," said EVP/CFO Brian Roberts, adding, "The decline in total cash balance was expected, due to our semi-annual cash interest payment this quarter."
Looking at WMG's recorded music division, revenue fell by 5.3 percent to $518 million from $547 million a year ago. Digital revenue was up 12.6 percent to $215 million. The 5.3 percent drop was "largely related to the unfavorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates." On a constant-currency basis, Recorded Music revenue declined 1.9 percent. WMG's artist services and expanded rights revenue was lower due to concert promotion revenue declines as compared to the results from the prior-year quarter's strong touring schedule in France. Recorded Music digital revenue increases were attributed to "global download and subscription/streaming revenue," which were both strong. Recorded Music digital revenue represented 41.5 percent of total Recorded Music revenue, compared to 34.9 percent in fiscal Q3 2011. Domestic Recorded Music digital revenue was $121 million, or 53.8 percent of total domestic Recorded Music revenue, compared to 47.6 percent a year ago. Major sellers in the quarter included Linkin Park, Jason Mraz, Germany's Die Toten Hosen, fun. and B.O.B.