Music giant EMI has hinted that rivals were unable to match its success in the first half as albums by Coldplay and Gorillaz scooped gongs and topped the charts.
EMI said yesterday its share of the worldwide market for recorded music rose from 12.5 per cent to 13.1 per cent during the six months to September 30 as it recovered from a profits warning earlier this year.
This achievement was led by Coldplay claiming the number one spot in 32 countries including the UK, US and Japan with their third album X&Y. A total of 7.5 million copies of X&Y were bought by fans around the world in the first half and the Demon Days album by Gorillaz was also popular with 3.4 million units sold.
Pre-tax profits increased nine per cent to #41 million and were a touch ahead of the market consensus, while half-year revenues lifted 5.8 per cent to #924.6 million.
EMI also offered fresh hope that the downturn in the global recorded music industry was bottoming out on the back of rapid digital growth as broadband and 3G become more widespread.
Fans are able to download their favourite music videos to their computers for the first time and EMI said digital revenues now accounted for 4.9 per cent of its overall turnover - compared with just 2.1 per cent a year ago.
Chairman Eric Nicoli said new releases from a strong line-up of artists were due in the second half and 3.5 million copies of Robbie Williams?s album Intensive Care have already been sold since its release late last month.
?The group remains on track to deliver in line with our expectations for the full year,? Mr Nicoli said. The second half release schedule also features artists such as Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack and Starsailor.
Revenues at EMI Music returned to growth - up 4.3 per cent in the first half - with the one main region of weakness being Japan where few local artists released new albums.
Turnover at its publishing arm, which sells music rights to film and TV makers, was 5.8 per cent higher after stripping out currency swings and was growing in all regions.
EMI said its music was used in advertising campaigns for brands ranging from Aquafina to American Express and in TV programmes such as Desperate Housewives.