U2 record label posts significant profit drop

Universal Music Ireland made pre-tax loss of over €640,000 in 2016

U2 back on stage at Croke Park, thirty years after they performed “The Joshua Tree” in Dublin. The band is one of a number represented by Universal Music. Photograph: Eric Luke

U2 back on stage at Croke Park, thirty years after they performed “The Joshua Tree” in Dublin. The band is one of a number represented by Universal Music. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Revenues from the sale of CDs more than halved at Universal Music Ireland 2016 hitting profits at the group.

Accounts just filed with Companies Office by the Irish subsidiary of the global record label show that the sale of CDs – which made up about 47 per cent of revenue in 2015 – dropped by some 50.8 per cent to €3.05 million.

Royalties and licence fees, meanwhile, increased by 17 per cent to €7.88 million.

The company, which markets and sells recorded music, said that the significant revenue drop of 17 per cent to €10.9 million was due to a major customer ceasing to trade in the Republic. That refers presumably to the demise of HMV’s Irish business.

However, the company suggests it maintained its leading market share in the Irish music market in 2016.

Ariana Grande

Universal Music Ireland, which represents artists including U2, Ariana Grande, Gwen Stefani, James Bay and Lionel Richie, also reported a pre-tax loss for the year. The loss of €642,304 compared to a profit of €1.6 million the previous year. However, it paid a dividend of €1.2 million in the period.

Employing an average of 18 staff throughout 2016 the company paid out €1.25 million in wages and salaries. The two directors of the music label, Mark Crossingham and Nick Younger, received remuneration of €459,913 in the period, down by €50,000 on the previous year.

Despite some positivity in the company’s report, it still sees external risks from the ongoing recovery in the aftermath of the economic recession “and its impact on the Irish music market.”