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STRONG Q1 FOR UMG
DRIVES VIVENDI

A super first quarter for Universal Music Group drove Vivendi’s 10.7% growth in the quarter, further enhancing the value of the music company as the French conglom seeks an investor willing to acquire half the music unit.

UMG’s revenue of $1.7b represented a 23% rise from 2018 or 18.8% at constant currency. Recorded music revenues grew by 19.2% at constant currency to $834m as subscription and streaming revenues were up 28.1% and physical sales had a rare bright spot, up 20.8% to $218m. Downloads were off 18.2% to $118m.

Music publishing revenues grew by 4.7% to $255m, also owing to subscription and streaming revenues. Merchandising and other revenues of $81m were up 72.7% at constant currency thanks to increased touring activity and D2C revenues.

The company credited new releases from Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and the Japanese band back number and as well as the continued success of A Star Is Born and multiple albums from Queen.

Regarding the potential sale of a 50% stake in UMG, Vivendi announced, “The process of selecting the potential partnering banks and the advisers should be completed shortly. PWC has been engaged to conduct the ‘vendor due diligence’, which is ongoing. It is expected to be completed in the coming weeks and will be provided to the selected banks.”

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