UK branch of Warner Music Group hits high with £44m dividend

The UK arm of Warner Music Group has paid a bumper £44million dividend to its US parent company after a string of successes boosted profits

The UK arm of Warner Music Group paid a bumper £44million dividend to its US parent company last year after a string of hits boosted profits.

The music giant saw big-name artists such as Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars release blockbuster hits during the period.

Demand could also increase this year after Covid restrictions were removed and stars such as Rita Ora were able to hold live concerts.

Major star: Singer Rita Ora is one of Warner’s most popular artists

Warner, which is the third largest recording group in the world behind Universal Music and Sony, has discovered artists such as Led Zeppelin and Aretha Franklin.

It is also a major publishing force, with the rights to music from artists such as David Bowie, Madonna and Iron Maiden.

The global business, whose origins date back to Chappell & Co in 1811, saw its revenue rise 19% to £4.4billion last year.

Last month it was revealed that longtime chief executive Steve Cooper was planning to step down next year. The 75-year-old has held the role since 2011 and led the £11billion company through a Nasdaq float in June 2020.

Cooper insisted that music streaming – Warner’s biggest source of revenue – remains robust despite falling demand for video streaming services such as Netflix.

Digital revenue accounts for about two-thirds of the parent company’s total sales.

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