Vivendi Universal Q3 revenues up 12 per cent

MUMBAI: Media conglomerate Vivendi Universal has announced results for the third quarter ended 30 September 2005. Revenues amounted to  4,874 million euros compared to  4,353 million euros for the third quarter of 2004, an increase of 12 per cent.

Revenues for the first nine months amounted to  14,005 million euros compared to 12,759 million euros for the first nine months of 2004, an increase of 10 per cent.

For the first nine months, Universal Music Groups (UMG) revenues of  3,211 million euros were up five per cent on a comparable basis and at constant currency. UMG outperformed the market with strong growth in North America, Europe, particularly France, and Australia, offsetting market weakness in Asia. Digital sales of 170 million euros almost tripled versus last year and represented five per cent of UMGs total revenues.

Best sellers included new releases from 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and Black Eyed Peas, in addition to very strong carryover sales from Gwen Stefani and The Killers. Regional best sellers included Mylène Farmer, Chimène Badi and Calogero in Europe, Juanes and Café Tacuba in Latin America, and Spitz in Asia. In the US, total album unit sales for the industry as measured by SoundScan fell by 10.4 per cent.

Vivendi Universal Games (VUGs) revenues of  396 million were 88 per cent above the prior year. This increase was driven by the critically acclaimed subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game

(MMORPG) World of Warcraft as well as the promising release of The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (Hulk II), based on The Incredible Hulk character franchise and developed by the internal studio Radical.

On the television front Canal+ Group reported revenues of 2,560 million euros for the first nine months.This increase reflects Canal+ Groups core business French pay-television growth. This was achieved thanks to higher revenue per subscriber and portfolio growth as well as the progressive decrease of promotional impacts.

From January to September 2005, Canal+ recorded its best recruitment period since 1988 with more than 400,000 new subscriptions, or an increase of 30 per cent when compared to the first nine months of 2004.

For the same period, Canalsat recorded its best recruitment period since 1999, with more than 300,000 new subscriptions, or nearly 20% when compared with the first nine months of 2004.As of the end of September 2005, Canal+ Groups total subscription portfolio (individuals and collective, France and overseas) grew by nearly 290,000 subscriptions since September 2004, including more than 65,000 subscriptions to Canal+. Ad revenues are also increasing despite a declining market.

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