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Major record company Avex Inc. said Wednesday it has revised down earnings projections for the year to March 31, 2003, due to slack demand for music software, forcing it to slash its dividend.

Avex also blamed the rise of illegal Net-based file-swapping sites, the proliferation in CD copying by pop music buffs, and the flagging music market.

The company revised its estimate for group sales to 85.9 billion yen from the initially forecast 90.9 billion yen, with net profit forecast cut to 4 billion yen from the 5.6 billion yen forecast May 16.

Avex said it will slash its per-share dividend for the year to 35 yen from the previously expected 50 yen.

On a half-year basis, Avex made a downward revision in its group net balance forecast for the six-month period to Sept. 30 to a loss of 1.9 billion yen, down sharply from the initially forecast profit of 500 million yen.

The forecast for half-year group sales was revised downward to 36.10 billion yen from the initially forecast 43 billion yen, it said.

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