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Universal Music Group saw Q3 revenue decline 9% to 1.3 billion euros, though the company attributes the slide to the strength of the euro against the dollar and puts it in the context of a 12.4% industry-wide decline for the quarter.

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL NINE-MONTH REVENUE UP

Preliminary Report Shows Conglom, and Music in Particular, Keeping It Together

Vivendi Universal did today what French companies do: Release preliminary, undaudited revenue information for Q3 and the first nine months of 2002 to a French newspaper, and subsequently, the world.

And as the sewage and water utility turned global entertainment giant continues to struggle with debt and attempt to shed assets following former Chief Jean-Marie Messier’s aborted plan to conquer the world, those preliminary revenue figures don’t look too bad: For the first nine months of 2002, VU took in 44.5 billion euros—22.4 billion excluding Vivendi Environnement (the sewage and water part), which the company is trying to spin off. Those figures reflect a 9% increase over the same period in 2001.

For Q3 2002, the company took in 7.4 billion euros, up 1% over Q3 2001. It may not be much, but a positive still beats a negative any day of the week.

Illustrating the challenges facing the music business, VU’s Universal Music Group, by far the biggest of the Big Five with record-shattering current marketshare of over 30%, saw Q3 revenue decline 9% to 1.3 billion euros, though the company attributes the slide to the strength of the euro against the dollar and puts it in the context of a 12.4% industry-wide decline for the quarter. Slightly higher music sales were offset by higher provisions for returns and lower manufacturing revenue, the company said.

UMG’s biggest Q3 sellers were Bon Jovi, Eve, India.Arie and a Spanish-language release from Enrique Iglesias.

Vivendi Universal will issue its "official" Q3/nine month earnings later this month.

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