SOURCE: WMG

May 16, 2005 07:24 ET

WMG Acquisition Corp. Reports Fiscal Second Quarter Ending March 31, 2005

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 16, 2005 --


Quarter Overview

--  WMG Acquisition Corp. revenues grew 4.4% to $767 million, with both
    Recorded Music and Music Publishing contributing to growth.
    
--  Digital revenue of $35 million or 4.6% of total revenue contributed to
    the growth. Digital revenue amounted to $25 million in the first fiscal
    quarter of 2005 and $32 million for the full fiscal year 2004.
    
--  Selling general and administrative expenses fell to 38.2% of revenue
    compared to 43% last year, reflecting benefits of restructuring
    initiatives.
    
--  Operating income was $27 million, compared to an operating loss of $21
    million for the same period last year.
    
--  Overall operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA)
    was $88 million up 83.3% from $48 million last year. Excluding FAS 123
    charges of $7 million, total OIBDA amounted to $95 million up 97.9% from
    last year's comparable quarter.
    
--  Cash balance as of March 31, 2005 amounted to $440 million.
    
WMG Acquisition Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG), today reported fiscal second quarter earnings for the period ended March 31, 2005. Warner Music Group Corp. second quarter earnings are required to be filed with the SEC by the end of June 2005. In 2004, Warner Music Group Corp. and its subsidiaries changed their fiscal year-end to September 30 from November 30. As such, WMG Acquisition Corp. restated prior quarters starting October 1, 2003, under the new fiscal-year format, to enhance comparability between periods.

WMG Acquisition Corp.'s quarterly revenue was $767 million, an increase of 4.4% or up 1.2% on a currency-adjusted basis, when compared to the three months ending March 2004. International revenue was approximately 53% of total revenue. Consolidated operating income was $27 million, up from a prior year loss of $21 million in last year's comparable quarter. The period-over-period operating income growth was driven by double-digit percentage increases from both Recorded Music and Music Publishing. Net loss in the quarter was $18 million, compared to the prior period loss of $45 million. WMG Acquisition Corp. also reported a cash balance as of March 31, 2005 of $440 million.

Recorded Music

Recorded Music revenue expanded by 4.9% to $621 million (up 1.9% currency adjusted), led by digital sales mostly offset by declines in physical sales. Major sellers in the quarter were Green Day, Michael Bublé, T.I., and Big & Rich. Recorded Music OIBDA grew to $72 million from $21 million in last year's comparable quarter and operating income was $30 million compared to a $23 million operating loss in last year's comparable quarter as benefits from the Atlantic Records restructuring initiative and higher margin digital products contributed to results. Recorded Music OIBDA margin rose to 11.6% versus 3.5% in last year's comparable quarter and operating income swung to positive $30 million from a $23 million loss in last year's comparable quarter.

Music Publishing

Music Publishing revenue climbed by 3.4% to $154 million, due mainly to a benefit from foreign currency exchange rates. Increases in performance and synchronization royalties were offset by overall declines in mechanical revenues. OIBDA improved to $47 million from $45 million, and operating income increased to $32 million from $24 million in last year's comparable quarter. Music Publishing OIBDA margin improved marginally, while operating income advanced 33.3% to $32 million.

About Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group, with its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, is one of the world's major music companies. The company is home to a collection of some of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Bad Boy, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire operates through 37 affiliates and numerous licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, a global music publisher, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide. For more information about Warner Music Group, visit our corporate website at www.wmg.com.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

This communication includes forward-looking statements that reflect the current views of Warner Music Group about future events and financial performance. Words such as "estimates," "expects," "anticipates," "projects," "plans," "intends," "believes," "forecasts" and variations of such words or similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends, or that do not relate to historical matters, identify forward- looking statements. Our expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and we believe there is a reasonable basis for them. However, there can be no assurance that management's expectations, beliefs and projections will result or be achieved. Investors should not rely on forward-looking statements because they are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations.

Figure 1. WMG Acquisition Corp. – Unaudited Consolidated Income
Statement, Three Months and Six Months Ended 3/31/05 versus 3/31/04
(dollars in millions)

                                  Three     Three     Six       Six
                                  Months    Months    Months    Months
                                  Ended     Ended     Ended     Ended
                                  March 31, March 31, March 31, March 31,
                                  2005      2004(a)   2005      2004(a)

Revenues:                         $    767  $    735  $  1,855  $  1,913
Costs and Expenses:
Cost of revenue                       (400)     (388)     (981)   (1,036)
Selling, general and
 administrative                       (293)     (316)     (624)     (707)
Amortization of intangible assets      (47)      (52)      (93)     (112)
Impairment of goodwill and other
 intangible assets                       -         -         -    (1,019)
Restructuring costs                      -         -         -        (8)
Total Costs and Expenses              (740)     (756)   (1,698)   (2,882)
Operating Income                  $     27  $    (21) $    157  $   (969)
Interest Expense                       (35)       (9)      (71)      (12)
Net investment-related losses            -         -         -        (9)
Equity in losses of equity-method
 investees                               -        (3)       (1)      (12)
Deal-related and transaction costs       -         -         -       (63)
Other expense, net                       -         -         4        (7)
Income (loss) before income taxes       (8)      (33)      (89)   (1,072)
Income tax expense (benefit)            10        12        42       119
Net income (loss)                 $    (18) $    (45) $     47  $ (1,191)

(a) - The three month period ended March 31, 2004 is the
combination of the two months ended February 29, 2004 of the
predecessor company and one month ended March 31, 2004 of the
successor company. The six-month period ended March 31, 2004
is the combination of the five months ended February 29, 2004
of the predecessor company and one month ended March 31, 2004
of the successor company.
Figure 2. WMG Acquisition Corp. – Unaudited Segment Income Statement,
Three Months and Six Months Ended 3/31/05 versus 3/31/04
(dollars in millions)

                                Three      Three      Six        Six
                                Months     Months     Months     Months
                                Ended      Ended      Ended      Ended
                                March 31,  March 31,  March 31,  March 31,
                                2005       2004(a)    2005       2004(a)

Recorded Music:
Revenue                          $621       $592     $1,561     $1,620
OIBDA                              72         21        266        158
Depreciation and                  (42)       (44)       (84)       (99)
  amortization
Impairment of goodwill and          -          -          -     (1,019)
  other intangible assets
Operating Income                   30        (23)       182       (960)

Music Publishing:
Revenue                           154        149        309        308
OIBDA                              47         45         71         72
Depreciation and                  (15)       (21)       (29)       (42)
  amortization
Operating Income                   32         24         42         30

Total:
Revenue                           767        735      1,855      1,913
OIBDA                              88         48        278        199
OIBDA (excluding FAS 123           95         48        287        199
  expense)
Depreciation and                  (68)       (69)      (130)      (149)
  amortization
Impairment of goodwill and          -          -          -     (1,019)
  other intangible assets
Operating Income                   27        (21)       157       (969)

(a) - The three month period ended March 31, 2004 is the combination of
the two months ended February 29, 2004 of the predecessor company and
one month ended March 31, 2004 of the successor company.  The six-month
period ended March 31, 2004 is the combination of the five months ended
February 29, 2004 of the predecessor company and one month ended March 31,
2004 of the successor company.
Supplemental Disclosures Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Information

OIBDA

We evaluate our operating performance based on several factors, including
our primary financial measure of operating income (loss) before non-cash
depreciation of tangible assets, non-cash amortization of intangible assets
and non-cash impairment charges to reduce the carrying value of goodwill
and other intangible assets (which we refer to as "OIBDA"). We consider
OIBDA to be an important indicator of the operational strengths and
performance of our businesses, including the ability to provide cash flows
to service debt. However, a limitation of the use of OIBDA as a performance
measure is that it does not reflect the periodic costs of certain
capitalized tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues in
our businesses. Accordingly, OIBDA should be considered in addition to, not
as a substitute for, operating income (loss), net income (loss) and other
measures of financial performance reported in accordance with accounting
principles generally accepted in the U.S.
Figure 3. WMG Acquisition Corp. - OIBDA Reconciliation
(unaudited; dollars in millions)

                                  Three     Three     Six       Six
                                  Months    Months    Months    Months
                                  Ended     Ended     Ended     Ended
                                  March 31, March 31, March 31, March 31,
                                  2005      2004(a)   2005      2004(a)

OIBDA (excluding FAS 123 expense) $     95  $     48  $    287  $    199
FAS 123 expense                          7         -         9         -
OIBDA                                   88        48       278       199
Depreciation expense                   (14)      (17)      (28)      (37)
Amortization expense                   (47)      (52)      (93)     (112)
Impairment of goodwill and other
 intangible assets                       -         -         -    (1,019)
Operating income (loss)                 27       (21)      157      (969)
Interest expense                       (35)       (9)      (71)      (12)
Net investment-related losses            -         -         -        (9)
Equity in losses of equity-method
 investees                               -        (3)       (1)      (12)
Deal-reltaed and transaction costs       -         -         -       (63)
Other expense, net                       -         -         4        (7)
Income (loss) before income taxes       (8)      (33)       89    (1,072)
Income tax expense (benefit)            10        12        42       119
Net income (loss)                 $    (18) $    (45) $     47  $ (1,191)

(a) - The three month period ended March 31, 2004 is the combination of
the two months ended February 29, 2004 of the predecessor company and
one month ended March 31, 2004 of the successor company.  The six-month
period ended March 31, 2004 is the combination of the five months ended
February 29, 2004 of the predecessor company and one month ended March
31, 2004 of the successor company.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Will Tanous
    212-275-2244
    will.tanous@wmg.com

    Investor Contact:
    Jill Krutick
    212-275-4790