Vivendi posts 10.2% revenue increase

Second quarter has fastest sales growth since 2002

PARIS -- French media giant Vivendi boasted a 10.2% jump in revenue for the first half of the year on the back of a strong second quarter, the group said Thursday.

Vivendi's revenue totaled 11.33 billion euros ($17.76 billion) for the first six months of 2008, with 5.99 billion euros ($9.4 billion) of that coming during the second quarter.

The company saw its fastest sales growth since 2002 during the second quarter, with revenue at telecommunications operator SFR jumping 22% to 5.3 billion euros ($8.3 billion) thanks in part to revenue added by the April acquisition of Neuf Cegetel.

Also driving revenue in the period were increased subscriptions to pay TV unit Canal Plus and the success of video games publisher Activision Blizzard, in which they own a 54% stake.

Canal Plus reported a 4.6% jump in revenue to 2.25 billion euros ($3.53 billion), while Universal Music's buyout of BMG Music in 2007 helped the company's revenue rise 4.9% to reach 2.04 billion euros ($3.2 billion).

Vivendi Games' massively multiplayer online hit "World of Warcraft" saw its subscriber base grow to more than 10.9 million. Vivendi is hoping for similar success for Blizzard Entertainment's "World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King," scheduled for release in the second half of the year.
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