Vivendi on the mend

French media conglomerate Vivendi enjoyed a significant uptick in its Q3 and 9-months revenues. Q3 revenues rose 2.7 per cent to €3.184 billion. Its 9-month picture was also greatly improved with revenues rising 11.8 per cent to €8.62 billion.

Canal+ Group saw improvement in operating results in the third quarter, driven by positive commercial momentum in France; the group posted confirmation of an EBITA target of approximately €350 million for 2017. Canal+ Group’s revenues were down 2 per cent (for the 9-month period) to €3.825 billion.

At the end of September 2017, Canal+ Group’s individual subscriber base reached 14.2 million, up 3.2 million year-on-year (but by just 1000 new subs in Q3), notably thanks to the wholesale agreements with telecom operators, in particular Free and Orange.  Revenues from international pay-TV operations grew by 5.1 percent compared to the first nine months of 2016 (+5.9 per cent at constant currency), driven by a net increase in the subscriber base of 574,000 year-on-year.

Revenues from pay-TV operations in mainland France were down 4.2 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2016. The situation is improving: the decline is slowing down, with -7.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, -2.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 and -2 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same periods of 2016. The change in revenues is due to a reduction of the free-to-air window on the Canal+ channel and lower subscription revenue, partially offset by revenues generated from partnerships with internet service providers.

Universal Music Group: excellent results for the first nine months of 2017; expects revenues to grow by around 10 per cent and EBITA to improve by close to 20 per cent.

Chairman Vincent Bollore said that Vivendi is now sitting on a cash pile of €2.6 billion (which is down from the same point last year of €4.2 billion).  He also said that it would be staying in the ‘Gaming’ sector but would not – at least for the next six months – be making an offer to acquire more than its existing 30 per cent of gaming business Ubisoft.

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