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​Revival at CME

Nihon Shoken Shimbun (Japan Securities Daily) 1.5.05

The year 2005 will be one of revival for Columbia Music Entertainment. The company’s stock price has been trending down for more than 12 months, and unsurprisingly enthusiasm for selling has waned. Under the direction of Ripplewood, the U.S. investment firm, the company has made steady progress in its initiatives to rebuild its business. With the spin-off of its hardware division, the company now specializes in music and visual software, resulting in a gradual improvement in its earnings strength. In terms of results, Columbia has already emerged from the bottom. In the term ending March 2005, the company is expected to post an operating profit. The ratio of selling, general and administrative expenses in the interim term ended September was 14%, representing a significant 5.1 percentage point improvement from the result for the previous term. In digital music distribution for mobile terminals, in addition to the service to mobile phones of DoCoMo, the company launched its own site in November 2004 and for Vodafone in December 2004. Columbia has begun to deal with a number of different distribution models, including music distribution for personal computers. The company looks set to post impressive growth in the next term. (Ryu)