Warner Music Group Q3 Revenue Tops $1 Billion as Streaming Enjoys Double-Digit Growth

Warner Music Group continues to enjoy growth fueled by streaming, with revenue reaching $1.06 billion for the three-month period ended June 30, making for a handsome 10.4% increase over the $958 million recorded in the corresponding year-earlier period.

Streaming contributed to that growth, generating $648 million in revenue, up 12.5% from $576 million in the year earlier period.

Other financial barometers also showed increases with operating income more than doubling to $58 million from $28 million in the third quarter of 2018, while operating income before depreciation and amortization rose 25.3% to $124 million from $99 million.

But net income fell significantly to $14 million from $321 million due to not having the benefit of sales of Spotify stock in this quarter, versus last year when other income totaled $394 million.

“Our third-quarter results are proof of our continued momentum,” WMG CEO Steve Cooper said in a statement. “To say that streaming is responsible for the recovery of our business is an oversimplification. Without the talent and creativity of our artists and songwriters, and all of the investment and expertise we put behind them, there would be no growth.”

For the nine-month period ended June 30, 2019, revenue grew 13% to $3.35 billion from the nearly $3 billion the company generated in the year-earlier 9-month period. 

But for the same reason as its third quarter results, net income fell to $167 million for the nine-month period from $325 million in the year earlier period. Yet, on the plus side, operating income grew 62.7% to $327 million from $201 million in the year earlier period, while OIBDA grew 30.5% to $530 million from $406 million.

“We had strong growth in revenue, OIBDA and cash flow,” added WMG executive vp and CFO Eric Levin. “We expect fiscal 2019 to be another great year.”

Overall revenue was boosted $59 million due to the acquisition of EMP and a change in accounting produced a $1 million increase, while that was offset somewhat by costs related to its Los Angeles office consolidation and relocating some back office operations to Nashville, and $21 million in costs due to the divestiture of its concert promotion business.

Looking at the fuel driving the engine, the company’s digital revenue grew to $1.94 billion, from $1.66 billion in the prior corresponding period, a 16.8% increase. 

Breaking the company out by operation, recorded music contributed $2.89 billion in the nine-month period, a 15.6% increase from $2.5 billion garnered in the year-earlier period while publishing revenue fell slightly to $470 million from $476 million.

For recorded music, major sellers included Ed Sheeran, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, The Yellow Monkey, Nipsey Hussle and Cardi B.

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