Vivendi Third-Quarter Financials Decline

8:44 AM PST 11/13/2012 by Georg Szalai

The French conglomerate, which owns Universal Music, a majority stake in Activision Blizzard, Canal+ and telecom assets, has been reviewing asset sales.

LONDON - French entertainment and telecom conglomerate Vivendi on Tuesday reported lower third-quarter financials.

The company posted adjusted net income of $845 million (665 million euro), down 2.9 percent from the year-ago period. Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) fell 7.3 percent to $1.77 billion (1.39 billion euros).

EBITA rose at video game maker Activision Blizzard and French pay TV firm Canal+, but fell sharply at Universal Music Group. It also dropped at all telecom assets except for a Brazilian operator.

Vivendi's revenue declined 1.6 percent to $8.48 billion (6.67 billion euros) as Activision Blizzard and Canal+ posted a gain, Universal Music Group recorded a gin that turned into a drop when assuming constant currencu rates, and telecom results fell except for a Brazilian operator.

The group also increased its full-year forecast for adjusted profit.

Universal Music Group's revenue for the first nine months of 2012 rose 2.1 percent, but were down 3.4 percent at constant currencies, including an 8.6 percent increase in digital sales, offset by falling demand for physical product. UMG's EBITA dropped 2.5 percent, or -5.0 percent at constant currencies.

Recorded music bestsellers year-to-date include releases from Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and Nicki Minaj, as well Lana Del Rey and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Following the recent acquisition of EMI Recorded Music, UMG said Tuesday: "The sale process of certain EMI recorded music assets is underway, and these divestments are generating robust interest. Team integration is also progressing according to plan."

Canal+ revenue was up for the first nine months of 2012, while EBITA was down slightly amid an increase in value-added tax. Financials from Canal+ foreign and non-pay TV activities grew, "notably thanks to solid performances of StudioCanal and the pay TV operations in Vietnam," Vivendi said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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