Television

Vivendi Universal first quarter revenues decline

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MUMBAI: Media giant Vivendi Universal has reported results for the first quarter.

Cconsolidated revenues for the first quarter of 2004 amounted to 5,973 million euros a drop from the 6,232 million euros figure that had been recorded for the first quarter of last year.

Vivendi Universals media activity (Groupe Canal+, Universal Music Group,Vivendi Universal Games (VUG) and Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE)) revenues for the first quarter of 2004 amounted to 3,471 million euros. This was a decline of nine per cent. To some extent this was offset by telecom activity for the first quarter which amounted to  2,434 million marking an increase of 14 per cent.

Revenues at Canal Plus, the French cable TV operator, fell by 21 per cent to 923 million euros compared to 1,166 million euros in 2003. The company's CEO Jean-René Fourtou has been selling divisions of the company including the entertainment division to NBC in a bid to get the company out of the slump. On a more positive note VUE's revenues amounted to 1,493 million euros an increase of three per cent over the corresponding quarter of last year.

Universal Television Group revenues increased by 15 per cent. Universal Television's production and distribution revenues increased by 17 per cent due to increased licensing revenues for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and increased production volume of other shows. In India the show airs on Star World.

However there was bad news on the music and gaming front. UMG's revenues of  978 million euros were 11 per cent below last year. The company attributed this to the adverse currency movements. Also the debut from 50 Cent was not repeated and the global music market continues to be in a state of rcession particularly in France.

There was growth in the UK, Germany and Latin America due to strong sales of domestic and regional releases. UMGs album market share in the US fell to 26.6 per cent versus 28.3 per cent in 2003

Vivendi Universal Games (VUG) fared even worse. VUG revenues in the first quarter amounted to 77 million euros. This marked a 27 per cent decline.

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