Digital music puts positive spin on Vivendi

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French media and telecommunications company Vivendi saw a 2.9% year-over-year increase in 2006 revenue to €20 billion ($26.1 billion) as fourth-quarter revenue rose 1.2% to €5.6 billion ($7.2 billion), the company said Wednesday.

Assuming constant currencies, quarterly revenue grew 2.6%.

Vivendi, based here, will report full financials for the latest quarter and year, including bottom line figures, later.

Universal Music Group saw fourth-quarter revenue decline 1.5% to €1.7 billion ($2.2 billion), hurt by the dollar's decline, but on a constant currency basis revenue rose 1.7%. Full-year results reached €5 billion ($6.5 billion), a 1.3% jump compared with 2005, or 1.5% assuming constant currencies.

The year's increase was partly thanks to an 84% increase in digital music revenue and best-selling albums, including new releases from U2, Andrea Bocelli, Snow Patrol, Nelly Furtado and the Killers. The fourth-quarter included such best-sellers as Jay Z, Gwen Stefani, Akon and U2, led by frontman Bono (pictured).

Canal Plus Group's quarterly revenue rose 2.9% to €918 million ($1.2 billion), with the full-year's €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion) marking a year-over-year jump of 7.7%. A key driver was the rise in the number of subscriptions to more than 8.6 million.

Vivendi Games' revenue of €804 million ($1.1 billion) for 2006 marked a 25.4% jump, with the latest quarter bringing in a 33% year-over-year gain to €326 million ($425 million).
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