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Warner Loss Smaller Than Expected

Warner Music Group Inc. reported a wider fiscal second quarter loss. The results weren’t as bad as Wall Street had expected, thanks to a 9 percent rise in revenue from digital music sales.

The New York City company is being purchased in a $3.3 billion deal announced Friday.

Warner Music, which has significant operations in Burbank and Santa Monica, on Tuesday reported a net loss of $38 million (-25 cents per share), compared with a loss of $28 million (-17 cents) a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $682 million, an increase the company credited to $220 million in digital music sales. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected a per-share loss of 28 cents on revenue of $598 million.

“Our focus on disciplined (artist and recording) investments, successful revenue diversification and innovative digital strategies has helped us to grow our revenue,” Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman, Jr. said in a statement.

Warner Music on Friday announced an agreement with billionaire investor Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries to acquire the music company, considered the world’s third largest, in a cash-and-debt deal.

Warner shares fell 3 cents, or 1 percent, to $8.16 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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