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Music royalties organisation suffers revenue decline of 4pc

THE downturn hit another business's bottom line yesterday as the company that takes in royalties for music played at public events said its revenue dipped 4pc during 2011.

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) said revenue from licensing fell to €36.5m last year, compared to €38m in 2010.

The organisation gets its revenue through the payment of royalties owed to its members when their music is played in public, such as hotels, cinemas and pubs, as well as on radio stations and TV.

In a statement accompanying the results, IMRO said the drop reflected the "continuing difficult economic trading environment for all licensees, most particularly in discretionary spending sectors such as pubs, hotels, restaurants and cinema".

Broadcast and concert revenue, remained stable, while overseas revenue increased by 13pc.

The organisation distributed some €37.7m to its members during the year, while its membership increased by 566 during the year.

Company chief executive Victor Finn said the business had "performed well" in 2011, despite the harsh economic environment.

"(The fall in revenues) was expected. Costs for the year were tightly controlled, with a 0.6pc saving achieved from 2010."

IMRO chairman Keith Donald echoed Mr Finn's comments, describing the year's performance as "satisfactory". "These results reflect the proactive strategies the organisation has taken in the areas of cost containment, increased market penetration and continued investment in IT systems.

"The ongoing economic downturn continues to pose challenges for IMRO. In 2012, our focus will be to maintain 2011 revenue levels; continue a review of our licensing schemes; grow online revenue; enforce rights on behalf of our members via an effective office-based and on-the-ground presence; and via a rigorous defence of member's copyrights."

He added: "All of this will be done in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible."

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