The team at Terra Firma will be opening extra bottles of Orangina this morning, as EMI share figures that look better than you might have expected.
Partly, this is down to a reduction in returns (a digital dividend - less physical product means less unsold physical product) and cost savings (or sacking people, as it's also known), but mainly? It's because of currency fluctuations:
Net sales increasesd just 4% io £1,072 million ($1612M USD). Excluding the currency impact, sales were down 10%, slightly more than the contraction in the overall industry.
So EMI's success is mostly down to the change in the value of the pound. To be fair, persuading banks to back the Terra Firma takeover of the company, EMI did do a small bit to help hasten the economic doom, but I'm not sure they'd suggest that it was part of a strategy to turn the company around.
Even with the real decline in sales, though, it's worth noting that EMI still had revenues of £163million - the old music industry's claims of penury are a little overplayed.