Vivendi Universal revenues up 7 %

MUMBAI: Media company Vivendi Universal reports that revenues for the first half of 2005 eneded 30 June are up by seven per cent.

On a comparable basis first half of 2005 revenues amounted to 9,086 million euros compared to 8,479 million euros for the first half of 2004, an increase of seven per cent.

Universal Music Group?s (UMG) revenues of  2,092 million were up nine per cent on a comparable basis and at constant currency, driven by very strong sales in North America and growth in Germany, the UK, Australia and Latin America. Digital sales represented 4.9 per cent of UMG?s total revenues.

Best sellers came in the form of new releases from 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, The Game and Black Eyed Peas in addition to very strong carry over sales from Gwen Stefani, The Killers and Akon. Regional best sellers included Mylene Farmer,Chimene Badi and Schnappi in Europe, Ivete Sangalo and Juanes in Latin America and Spitz in Asia. In the US, total album unit sales for the industry as measured by SoundScan3 fell 7.6 per cent.

However UMG outperformed the market with a 9.3% increase in sales driving a 5 percentage point increase in market share to 32 per cent.

At the Canal+ Group, half-year revenues remained stable at 1.7 billion euros. The French pay-TV segment delivered a 2-percent revenue gain, thanks to the growth of its portfolio and improved ad revenues. Subscriptions grew from 7.72 million euros as of June 2004 to 7.96 million euros as of June 2005. Canal+ Group?s Q2 revenues fell slightly to 816 million euros, but French pay-TV revenues were up four per cent.

In terms of new subscriptions, this time period was the best first half since 1991, with almost 250,000 new subscriptions to the channel. This highlighted the momentum of Canal+ offers, primarily driven by the success of Canal+ Le Bouquet which represented over 50 per cent of Canal+ new subscriptions in June 2005.

In addition, Canalsat increased its revenues compared to the same period in 2004. In January 2005, its portfolio topped three million subscriptions.

Revenues for Canal+ group?s movie business decreased further due to the focus on the most profitable activities and to high performances during the same period in 2004. At the end of the first half of 2005, major theatrical releases included Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood.

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