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Continuing to outpace the market, UMG revenues of 1,026 million Euros were down just 7/10 of 1% while EBITA dropped just 1/2 of 1%, to 110 million Euros.

VIVENDI’S Q1 FINDS UMG FLAT

Down Only Slightly is the New Up
 

Flat is the new up. Better get used to it.


Universal Music Group
revenues were essentially even from the same period last year as revealed in Vivendi’s Q1 earnings report released today.


Continuing to outpace the market, UMG revenues of 1,026 million Euros were down just 7/10 of 1% while EBITA dropped just 1/2 of 1%, to 110 million Euros.


Vivendi stated “those revenues were in line with the same period last year, reflecting higher music publishing activity and increased recorded music sales in Europe, notably France and the U.K. A margin improvement resulted from a favorable sales mix, including higher digital revenues and a reduction in marketing expenses was offset by restructuring costs.”


Digital sales increased 27.2% to approximately 28% of recorded music sales in the quarter, and artist services and merchandising activity grew 9.3%, countering lower physical product sales, particularly in the U.S., and a decline in license income. Major sellers in the quarter included the new release from U2 and titles from Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Japan’s Dreams Come True.


Vivendi’s adjusted profit overall fell 6.9% to 649 million Euros in the quarter ended March 31 from 697 million Euros a year earlier, due to higher financial charges, increasing interest of earnings attributable to minority interests and a lower contribution from its stake in NBC Universal.

This figure was below an average 693.6 million Euros forecast by analysts.

Interest payments rose to 108 million Euros in the first quarter from 37 million Euros last year due to the increase in average outstanding borrowings linked to recent acquisitions, Vivendi said.

Net profit for the same period fell 14% to 477 million Euros from 555 million Euros a year earlier.

The company’s djusted earnings before interest and tax, or EBIT, rose 15.8% to 1.39 billion Euros from 1.2 billion last year, boosted by the full consolidation of recently acquired telecom operator Neuf Cegetel and U.S. video-game producer Activision Inc., beating analysts' expectations for adjusted EBIT of 1.38 billion.

Overall revenue was 6.5 billion Euros, up 23.7% from 5.28 billion last year, just slightly below analysts' forecasts of 6.6 billion.

Vivendi confirmed it still forecasts strong growth in adjusted EBIT this year despite the ongoing recession.

Net debt at March 31 stood at 8.3 billion Euros, unchanged from last year. Net debt should slightly decrease over the year, the group's CFO said.

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