Vivendi triples net profits in Q1 thanks to legal win

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French media and telecom group Vivendi on Thursday announced a near tripling of its net profits in the first quarter, thanks in large part to a legal victory, and confirmed its full-year outlook

The Paris-based group's quarterly profit came in at 1.7 billion euros ($2.5 billion) from 589 million euros in the same period last year.

The results were boosted by a 1.25 billion euro settlement from a legal battle in Poland.

The dispute dated back to 1999 when Vivendi invested 1.8 billion euros in Polish mobile operator PTC through its subsidiary ET/Telco, a joint venture with Polish conglomerate Elektrim.

The action by Vivendi was contested by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, which held a 49 percent stake in PTC.

Last December Vivendi and Deutsche Telekom resolved their long-running conflict in Poland, with Vivendi dropping its claims to PTC in exchange for the 1.25 billion euros.

In the latest company results, revenue rose 3.8 percent to 7.2 billion euros in the quarter, above analysts' forecasts, thanks to strong sales at video-games unit Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) and Brazilian telecom operator GVT.

Adjusted EBITDA earnings -- before interest and taxes -- rose 7.2 percent to 1.7 billion euros

Last month Vivendi bought out British mobile phone giant Vodafone's 44 percent stake in French rival SFR for 7.75 billion euros in cash, giving it full control.

For 2011 as a whole, Vivendi confirmed its perspective of "a slight increase" in net income, seeing strong growth from its Brazilian telecoms unit and before the cost of acquisition of SFR.

© 2011 AFP

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