Warner Music Losses Narrow

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Warner Music Group (WMG.N) posted a narrower quarterly loss on Thursday as the decline in music CD sales at the world’s third largest music company was partially offset by growth in digital services.

Net loss for the fiscal second quarter ending in March was $25 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with $68 million, or 45 cents a year-ago. Revenue fell by 1 percent to $662 million.

Wall Street analysts had on average forecast profit of 30 cents on revenue of $663.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Top sellers in the quarter included Michael Buble, Muse and French artist Christophe Mae.

Digital sales rose by 13.9 percent to $189 million, and now accounts for nearly 35 percent of total recorded music sales during the quarter.

Warner Music has been widely speculated as a potential bidder for smaller London-based rival EMI Group, home of artists like the Beatles and Coldplay. EMI’s owner Terra Firma [TERA.UL] is currently seeking financing to ensure it retains ownership in the face of a mounting debt load. (Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Franklin Paul; Editing by Derek Caney)