Vivendi makes massive US law suit provision

Europe’s largest entertainment group Vivendi posted better-than-expected sales and operating profit for 2009, boosted by a buoyant performance at its games and telecoms divisions.

But the owner of Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record company that competes with EMI and Sony, said net profit was hit by a surprise provision for possible damages in a US class-action lawsuit from those who claim the company issued misleading financial information.

Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said that the group would post “slight growth” on an adjusted operating profit basis in 2010, a change from the “strong growth” it achieved last year.

Vivendi posted revenues up 6.9 per cent to E27.13 billion for 2009. Its earnings, before interest, tax, and amortisation increased 8.8 per cent to E5.39 billion.

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