Thorn EMI Profit up 76 Percent
LONDON (AP) _ Thorn EMI PLC announced that its annual pretax profit rose 76 percent, helped by strong profits from its music business, which released The Beatles’ Anthology albums during the year.
The company said profits in the rental business, which runs the Rent-a-Center chain in the United States, were also higher. Thorn EMI plans to split the music and rental businesses after a shareholder meeting in August.
Thorn EMI earned 477.6 million pounds ($734 million) in the year ended March 31, up from 271.1 million pounds a year earlier when special charges depressed profits. Sales were 5.06 billion pounds, up from 4.51 billion pounds.
Profits rose 24 percent at EMI, which also had strong sales of new releases by the Rolling Stones and Smashing Pumpkins. EMI’s HMV record shops saw profits rise 40 percent.
Operating profits at Thorn rose 23 percent over the previous year.
Thorn EMI said Tuesday that as part of the split of Thorn and EMI, 260 million pounds of the company’s debt would go to Thorn, leaving EMI Group with 131.4 million pounds of the debt.
Following the spinoff, Sir Colin Southgate will remain chairman of both EMI Group and Thorn, although his tenure at Thorn will end after the group’s annual general meeting in 1997.
Within EMI Group, James Fifield will remain president and chief executive officer of EMI Music, Stuart Allister will remain chief executive officer of HMV Group.
Within Thorn, Michael Metcalf will remain as group chief executive.
The company’s labels include EMI, Virgin, Chrysalis, Capitol, Angel and Blue Note.