Universal Music Posts Double-Digit Revenue Growth In First Quarter Since Going Public

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Universal Music Posts Double-Digit Revenue Growth In First Quarter Since Going Public
Billie Eilish

Universal Music Group garnered revenues of 2.153 billion euros in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, marking a 17.4% increase (on a constant currency basis, 16.1% on an actual basis) over 2020, when revenue totaled 1.855 billion euros.

During the quarter, during which the company spun off from Vivendi on 21 to list on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange, UMG also enjoyed 12.1% growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to 426 million euros — up from the year earlier corresponding period when EBITDA totaled 380 million euros.

Recorded music generated 1.711 billion euros in revenue — up 15.5% from 1.481 billion euros in 2020’s third quarter.

Music publishing hit 363 million euros — up 19.8% increase from 303 million euros in 2020’s third quarter.

Merchandise and other revenue, which was probably hit hardest by the pandemic, meanwhile brought in 84 million euros — up 13.5% from 74 million euros in 2020’s third quarter.

Within recorded music revenue, streaming grew 14% to 1.131 billion euros for the period — up from 992 billion euros in 2020’s third quarter.

Downloads and other digital fell 4.7% to 82 million euros from 86 million euros.

Physical, CDs, vinyl and other formats grew 11.6% to 280 million euros from 2020’s total of 257 billion euros.

Licensing and other revenue grew 49.3% to 218 million euros from 146 million euros in 2020’s third quarter.

Top sellers for the quarter included new releases from Billie Eilish and Drake, as well as continued sales of Olivia Rodrigo and more.

Since the start of 2021, UMG’s EBITDA grew 21.3% to 1.248 billion euros on revenues of 5.984 billion euros — as compared with the same nine-month period of 2020 where UMG’s EBITDA was 1.029 billion euros on revenues of 5.314 billion euros.

Revenue growth in the latest year represented a 12.6% increase. That means EBITDA margin grew to 20.9% of revenue, versus the prior year when it was 19.4% Moreover, EBITDA for this year was impacted by $35 million in fees related to the company’s public listing which brings adjusted EBITDA to 461 million euros.

In opening the company’s conference call, chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge noted that “music is on a stunningly powerful trajectory” and that UMG results were buoyed by that as well as the company’s stellar performance.

Breaking out revenue by operations for the nine-month period, recorded music tallied 4.848 billion euros — a 14% increase over the 2020 period when revenue was 4.252 billion euros.

Universal Music Publishing Group’s growth totaled 5.8% (10.09% in constant currency) to 927 million euros — up from 876 million euros in 2019;.

Merch and other enjoyed a 13.8% increase to 222 million euros from 2020’s total of 195 million euros.

Looking at recorded music revenue by channel, streaming tallied 3.262 billion euros — up from 2.806 billion euros in the year-earlier corresponding period.

Downloads and other digital fell to 235 million euros — a 27.5% drop from 324 million euros in the year-earlier nine-month period.

Physical formats grew to 742 million euros — up 22.8% from 604 million euros in the year-earlier nine-month period.

Licensing and other revenue grew to 609 million euros — up 17.6% from 518 million euros .

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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