UMG revenues up, earnings down

Vivendi-owned label group posts $3.7 billion in revenues

Vivendi’s Universal Music Group unit reported a slight rise in revenues and a dip in earnings in its third-quarter earnings report, issued Tuesday.

The Paris-based company’s music division saw revenues totaling €2.9 billion ($3.7 billion), an increase of 2.1% (but a decrease of 3.4% on a constant currency basis) from the same quarter in 2011.

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) slid 2.5% from last year’s third quarter to$302 million.

UMG cited Justin Bieber’s “Believe,” Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” and Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday … Roman Reloaded” as its bestselling releases of the quarter, as well as breakout albums by Lana Del Rey, Carly Rae Jepsen and Gotye. It anticipated strong sales by Q4 releases from Taylor Swift, Rod Stewart, Rihanna, the Rolling Stones and Ne-Yo.

Noting its market position has been strengthened by the Sept. 28 completion of UMG’s purchase of EMI’s labels, the company added, “The sale process of certain EMI Recorded Music assets is under way and these divestments are generating robust interest. Team integration is also progressing according to plan. The objective of £100 million annual synergies has been maintained.”