Media conglomerate Vivendi delivered a strong set of results, helped by its Music division, and showing strong indications that it is turning around its – to date – poorly performing Canal Plus pay-TV division. Vivendi’s Q3 revenues were €2.67 billion (€2.55 billion last year) and 5.9 per cent ahead.
Canal Plus Group Q3 numbers came in ahead of expectations, with improved margins and low subscriber losses. Revenues at C+ were €1.263 billion and despite this being some 2.3 per cent down in terms of organic growth it is still operating in an environment seen by most as being difficult,
Equity analysts at Deutsch Bank said that Canal’s ARPU growth picked up a very useful 4 per cent. However, mainland France revenues were squeezed, and down 6.3 per cent, with the bank saying that overall the broadcast business was no longer in “freefall”. Actual subs fell 71,000 in Q3 (fall of 91,000 in Q2).
But it is in Africa that Canal Plus is enjoying extraordinary growth. Deutsche Bank says: “African subs are up a staggering half a million/505k y-o-y and revenue up 20 per cent; [and] one of the other areas which we think is underestimated in Canal+. Africa is booming.”