Delays to albums by Coldplay and Gorillaz have hit sales and profits at their record company EMI.
Strong performances from Joss Stone and a Robbie Williams greatest hits compilation failed to stem the downward trend, with sales falling 8 . 4 per cent to £1,942.8 million.
As a result pretax profits fell from £163.3 million to £141.9 million in the year to March 31.
Investors and music fans had expected the albums to hit store shelves before the end of the financial year, but were frustrated as the bands finetuned the material before sanctioning their release.
The Demon Days offering from Gorillaz - led by Blur frontman Damon Albarn --went on sale on Monday while Coldplay will unveil their long-awaited X&Y album on June 6.
Eric Nicoli, chairman of EMI Group, focused on the gains made by the publishing and digital arms of the business, which had continued to grow.
He said: "In a still challenging trading environment we have seen some encouraging market trends and have made strategic progress in the past year.
"EMI Music Publishing achieved strong growth in both sales and profits. EMI Music's sales fell short of our original expectations due, in part, to lower than anticipated reorders in the fourth quarter and the rescheduling of two major album releases."
Previously announced restructuring initiatives delivered cost savings of £ 35 million in the year, £10 million ahead of plan, with a further £15 million of savings expected in the current year
The company said it was heartened by the very rapid growth in legitimate digital music.
During the year digital sales more than tripled to £49.7 million, representing 2.5 per cent of total group turnover for the year and 3.5 per cent in the final quarter.
Sales in CDs and tapes had slowed their rate of decline while music video had continued to be a growing part of the industry with sales up 6.3 per cent.
It said: "During the year we saw a considerable improvement in Continental Europe, one of the most challenging regions in recent years.
"While we still saw a decline in value year-on-year, the magnitude of decline has significantly reduced, particularly in the key German and French markets. We also saw a notable improvement in the Japanese and Latin American markets. The North American market softened during the year, particularly during our second half."
EMI Music Publishing reported earnings before tax, interest, depreciations and amortisation of £100.2 million, a growth of three per cent.