The British arm of Warner Music Group paid a hefty £44m dividend to its US parent last year after a string of hits led to a sharp rise in profits

The British arm of Warner Music Group paid a hefty £44m dividend to its US company last year after a string of hits led to a sharp rise in profits.

The music giant saw big name artists including Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars release blockbusters during this period.

Demand could also increase this year after Covid restrictions were lifted and stars such as Rita Ora were able to stage live concerts.

Main star: Singer Rita Ora is one of Warner’s most popular artists

Warner, which is the world’s third-largest record label behind Universal Music and Sony, has opened for artists including Led Zeppelin and Aretha Franklin.

It is also a major publishing force with rights to music by artists including David Bowie, Madonna and Iron Maiden.

Revenues at the global business, which dates back to Chappell & Co in 1811, rose 19 per cent to £4.4 billion last year.

It emerged last month that longtime chief executive Steve Cooper plans to step down next year. The 75-year-old has held the role since 2011 and has overseen the company, which was valued at £11 billion via the Nasdaq exchange in June 2020.

Cooper insisted that music streaming – Warner’s biggest source of revenue – remains robust despite a slump in demand for video streaming services such as Netflix.

Digital revenues account for about two-thirds of the parent company’s total sales.

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