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"Looking ahead to the second half of 2001, we will continue to focus on executing the strategies of the merger; driving revenue synergies; implementing necessary reorganizations and restructurings; and increasing our distribution reach through partnerships and alliances."
——VU's Jean-Marie Messier
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCES POSITIVE FIRST HALF
Unlike the Washington Redskins, VU Has Good First Half, Expects Good Second Half
Vivendi Universal announced today increases in EBITDA, operating income and revenues for the first half of 2001 ending June 30.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) grew 42% to nearly 4 billion euros, operating income increased 65% to 1.9 billion euros and revenues increased 11% to 26.4 billion euros versus pro forma results for the first half of the prior year.

Now, compared to actual first-half 2000 results, as opposed to any make-believe first-half results, EBITDA grew 54%, operating income increased 64% and revenues increased 36% in first half 2001.

"Looking ahead to the second half of 2001, we will continue to focus on executing the strategies of the merger; driving revenue synergies; implementing necessary reorganizations and restructurings; and increasing our distribution reach through partnerships and alliances," said VU Chairman and CEO Jean-Marie Messier. "Before the [Sept. 11] tragedy, market consensus for 2002 EBITDA was not far from 6 billion euros. Despite the events, looking at the trends of our businesses and our defensive qualities, we are currently very comfortable with this expectation."

The company has plenty of action lined up for the second half of 2001, including a Bee Gees hits compilation, a live Sting album and releases by Elton John, Enrique Iglesias, The Cranberries and Andrea Bocelli. The second half of 2001 will also see the launch of online subscription music service Pressplay, VU’s joint venture with Sony.

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