EMI's New Music Chief Levy Looks to `Spectacular' Christmas Pick- Up
Mesure, Susie, The Independent (London, England)
EMI, BRITAIN'S biggest music group, plunged into a first-half loss yesterday after profits slumped at its recorded music division. But the company attempted to put a positive gloss on the figures by pointing to initial signs of a better Christmas trading period.
Alain Levy, the chairman and chief executive of recorded music who last month replaced ousted Ken Berry, said market conditions in September and October had been poor but November and December looked "absolutely spectacular". The remarks prompted a 5 per cent rally in EMI shares to 317.75p.
The world's third-biggest music group, which issued a shock profits warning in September, is relying on a better second half driven by a stronger release schedule led by artists such as Pink Floyd, Robbie Williams, Garth Brooks and Kylie Minogue. Eric Nicoli, EMI's chairman, said its full-year profits target was "not out of reach" but depended on the crucial Christmas trading weeks.
EMI held the interim dividend at 4.25p but Mr Nicoli did not rule out cutting the final dividend. Last year the payout was 11.75p making a total for the year of 16p. Although this is just covered at the headline level, analysts believe the group will come under further pressure next year. There is scope for further cost-cutting and EMI said a strategic review of its recorded music division will be announced next February.
EMI blamed deteriorating economic conditions in Latin America and the US for a 7 per cent fall in turnover to pounds 1.07bn …
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Publication information: Article title: EMI's New Music Chief Levy Looks to `Spectacular' Christmas Pick- Up. Contributors: Mesure, Susie - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 2, 2001. Page number: 15. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.