Wednesday, July 25, 2018

XL Recordings turned over $67m last year… despite only releasing 9 new albums | Music Business Worldwide

Following on from the recent publication of Beggars Group’s 2017 financial results, one of the key labels in its family – XL Recordings – has now published its fiscal update with UK Companies House.

The document shows that XL Recordings, which is 50% owned by Beggars, turned over £52.08m ($67m) in calendar 2017, inclusive of its US operation and subsidiary Young Turks.

XL’s total global operating profit, again including subsidiaries, stood at £10.27m ($13m) in the period.

Although both of these numbers were down on the label’s performance in 2016, they were made particularly remarkable due to one fact: XL – Young Turks included – released just nine new albums/projects in total last year.

One of those records, Process, the debut LP from Sampha (pictured) won the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2017 – an achievement which was named as a highlight in XL’s annual review.

The arrival of another Young Turks release, The XX’s Mercury and BRIT-nominated I See You, was also named as a highlight, as was the XL-issued One Foot Out – the debut album from UK urban act Nines.

One of XL’s nine releases in 2017 was the 20th anniversary reissue of Radiohead’s OK Computer.

In terms of XL’s UK record company (not including the US or Young Turks), total turnover in 2017 stood at £48.82m, down 16.5% on the £58.43m posted in 2016.

Operating profit in 2017 reached £10.76m, less than half the £21.56m operating income seen in the prior year.

Administrative expenses at the company rose by 40.8% in 2017, up to £10.04m.

Total dividends of £20m were paid out by XL’s UK company in 2017, which would have been evenly split (£10m each) between its mutual 50% shareholders – (i) co-founder Richard Russell and (ii) Beggars Group Ltd.

As previously reported, Beggars Group Ltd did not pay out a dividend to its own shareholders in 2017.

XL Recordings Ltd employed 26 people in 2017, who shared a total wage bill of £2.95m – a per-head average of £113,462.

XL is globally best known for signing artists including The Prodigy, Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, The White Stripes and Adele over its 29-year history.

The company still owns the recorded rights to Adele’s first three albums in all territories outside the US and South America, where they are licensed to Sony/Columbia.

Reports suggest that Adele has now signed a global deal with Sony for her future work, but there is yet to be any confirmation from the major label or the artist’s camp.Music Business Worldwide


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