Bono says a new U2 album will be released by June.

"We are working away and we have a couple of yearlings in the stables that could really turn out to be thoroughbreds in the future," he said.

"As a band you are always trying to work on new material, and we had some unfinished material from the last album.

"I would love to elaborate a bit more, but unfortunately it is a democracy — and sure isn't that the world that we live in?"

U2 manager Paul McGuinnes confirmed the June release date.

"I have heard some of the stuff the guys have played and, yeah, it is great. Bono is always an optimist, but he seems confident of getting a new record out by the end of the next six months. They're talking about June. By that time we will be ready to go back on tour, and I think that will give it a different flavor."

McGuinness said sales of concert tickets "have been incredible" for the band — despite the current hard economic times.

"Most of the shows left are either sold out or close to being sold out, which is terrific. We're defying gravity at this stage — it's incredible."

McGuinness also offered support to Adam Clayton, who recently filed a lawsuit claiming his housekeeper had defrauded him out of millions.  

"It is very upsetting for him, especially because it is someone that he trusted and let into his life and his home. I didn't counsel him or advise him or anything like that.

"For Adam to discover that someone he had trusted had let him down like that ... well, it is disappointing.

"I suppose though that is life, and it could happen to anyone. But I can't really say too much about it because of the legality of it, but that the courts are dealing with it."

Bono said this year's Christmas was among the best yet.

"We have had a really great Christmas, very homey and lovely and we had a great time. In fact, we have just had the most-amazing year."