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Earnings: Warner Music’s Q3 Profits Rise; Digital Up 28 Percent

imageFinally some bit of good news in the music industry: Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) reported its Q308 earnings today, and its income rose to $6 million, or 4 cents a share, from $5 million, or 3 cents a share from the year-ago quarter. Stunningly, analysts were expecting a loss of 2 cents a share, according to data by FactSet. Revenues however declined 1 percent to $854 million from $867 million, out of which digital revenues were up 28 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $167 million (though only up $1 million from the previous sequential quarter). Digital is now 20 percent of the revenues, highest among the four majors.

Segment wise, recorded music digital revenue of $156 million grew 25.8 percent over the prior-year quarter. Domestic recorded music digital revenue amounted to $99 million. Strong digital revenue was primarily driven by growth in global online downloads, and to a lesser extent growth in international mobile. Digital revenue from music publishing grew 57.1 percent to $11 million, representing 7.1 percent of total music publishing revenues.

The Q4 and first half next year might be brutal, though and the company warned for it: “The volatile global economy and timing of our release schedule may result in back-end weighted fiscal 2009 results,” said Steve Macri, the company’s CFO. More details in release.