Universal Music’s Irish subsidiary records sharp fall in profit

Recording label says it experienced difficult trading conditions in Ireland last year

Universal Music artist Lana Del Rey. Universal Music Ireland Limited recorded a pretax profit of €1.6 million in 2015, compared with €12.8 million a year earlier.

Universal Music artist Lana Del Rey. Universal Music Ireland Limited recorded a pretax profit of €1.6 million in 2015, compared with €12.8 million a year earlier.

 

Universal Music, whose artists include Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Justin Bieber, Elton John, Metallica and Mariah Carey, saw profits plunge at its Irish subsidiary last year.

Accounts lodged by Universal Music Ireland Limited show the company, which has a leading market share here, recorded a pretax profit of €1.6 million in 2015, compared with €12.8 million a year earlier.

This was despite turnover rising over the year from €12.4 million to €13.2 million.

The accounts show Universal’s 2014 profits were boosted by €13.4 million in group loans being waived.

Illegal downloading

“Revenue increased in 2015 but the company continued to experience difficult trading conditions as a consequence of the ongoing recovery from economic recession and illegal downloading,” the firm said.

The company’s main activity is the sale and marketing of music from artists that also include the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey.

The latest accounts show directors at the Irish unit did not recommend payment of a final dividend to its parent.

A breakdown of revenue shows music sales accounted for €6.2 million of total turnover while royalties and licence fees brought in €6.7 million.

The company employed 17 people overall last year with staff costs totalling €1.5 million. Directors’ remuneration was €544.499.

The firm’s parent, Universal Music Group, reported a 2.7 per cent rise in revenue last year to €5.11 billion with streaming and subscription services accounting for 52 per cent of the group’s digital recorded music revenue in the second half.