Despite the 18% fall in the dollar against the euro since the first quarter of last year, Vivendi Universal is promising investors "strong improvement in operating income and cash flow from operations on a like-for-like basis" and a "return to profit."

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL Q1 REVENUES DOWN, AS IS MUSIC

After Adjustments, They’re Off Just 3%, While Music Income Dips 9%
It’s not quite French toast, but Vivendi-Universal’s Q1 earnings report didn’t exactly have boss Jean-Rene Fourtou going, "Ooh la la."

Amid continued reports their entertainment holdings are in play, the French conglom announced that consolidated revenues for first quarter 2003 were 6,232 million euros, compared with 14,649 million euros during a similar period last year. Excluding Vivendi Environnement, the publishing businesses divested in 2002 and 2003, and exchange rate fluctuations, that amounts to a 3% decline.

Despite the 18% fall in the dollar against the euro since the first quarter of last year, Vivendi Universal is promising investors "strong improvement in operating income and cash flow from operations on a like-for-like basis" and a "return to profit." And the Mets are going to the World Series.

The company’s Universal Music Group, which Fourtou has insisted is not on the block, was down from 1,364 million euros last year to 1,100 million euros this year, a 19% decline in revenue, taking into account exchange rate fluctuations, but only a 9% revenue decline on a constant currency basis.

The report cited strong sales for albums by 50 Cent, T.A.T.U. and Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack for the company’s ability to "outperform the market." Against a backdrop of U.S. album unit sales declining 9.9% overall, UMG increased its current U.S. album marketshare 3.5% to 30.9%.

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