Vivendi sales slump by 26 percent

2nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 1 (AFP) - French media heavyweight Vivendi Universal said Tuesday its fourth-quarter sales fell 26 percent to EUR 5.334 billion (USD 6.9 billion) from EUR 7.215 billion a year earlier.

PARIS, Feb 1 (AFP) - French media heavyweight Vivendi Universal said Tuesday its fourth-quarter sales fell 26 percent to EUR 5.334 billion (USD 6.9 billion) from EUR 7.215 billion a year earlier.

But it added that sales were up five percent on a comparable basis and seven percent at constant currencies.

Exane BNP Paribas analysts had forecast fourth-quarter sales of EUR 5.394 billion.

Vivendi said it saw a return to sales growth at Universal Music Group, Canal Plus and Vivendi Universal Games in the fourth quarter and continued momentum at its telecom units SFR Cegetel and Maroc Telecom.

For the full year 2004, sales were down 16 percent at EUR 21.428 billion but gained five percent on a comparable basis and seven percent on a constant currency basis.

Vivendi said net debt at December 31, 2004 was around EUR 3.1 billion, which does not include EUR 1.1 billion paid on January 4 this year to the Kingdom of Morocco for an additional 16 percent stake in Maroc Telecom.

The group said in a statement that its comparable basis calculation takes into account the effects of its divestiture of Vivendi Univeral Entertainment (VUE) and other units as well as divestures made by divisions such as its cable television channel Canal Plus and its decision to abandon Internet operations.

The calculation was made as if these transactions had taken place at the beginning of 2003.

Vivendi and General Electric Company of the United States last year merged Vivendi's VUE US entertainment assets with GE's NBC unit.

In total, media sales for the full year rose one percent from 2003 on a comparable basis to EUR 9.048 billion.

Telecoms sales for the full year came to EUR 9.944 billion, up 10 percent on a comparable basis.

After third-quarter earnings, the group raised its guidance for full-year adjusted net profit to more than EUR 1.2 billion from about one billion previously.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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