Solid gains for Vivendi music

Universal Group, Canal Plus fuel 15% bump

Solid growth at Universal Music Group and Canal Plus propelled Vivendi to a 15% gain in second-quarter revenues, the French conglom reported Thursday.

Total sales hit y6 billion ($9.4 billion).

Music revenues were off 3% in a brutal environment, but artists including Lil Wayne continue to provide the company with hits. Canal Plus revenue also went up 5% thanks to higher ad rates and strong ratings trends.

Vivendi predicted full-year net income will grow at a similar pace as in 2007, when it rose 8.3% excluding acquisitions. The 54% of outstanding shares it now controls of top vidgame publisher Activision Blizzard, plus continued gains from pay TV and Maroc Telecom, will be recurring boons to earnings, execs asserted.

Canal Plus is achieving traction with important new technologies, Vivendi said. About 80% of customers have migrated to the new CanalSat TPS platform, making it likely the company will reach its goal of having a single distribution platform by year’s end.

The digital subscriber base grew to 76% of the total, up from 67% a year ago.

Total subscriptions increased 140,000 to a net 10.4 million.

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