Vivendi posted a 5.6% year-on–year increase in revenue to €3.38 billion ($3.84 billion) in the third quarter of 2018, bolstered mainly by the growth of Universal Music Group and, to a lesser extent, Canal Plus Group. For the first nine months of the year, the company’s revenues jumped 13.6% to €9.84 billion ($11 billion).
Canal Plus Group’s revenues were up 0.4% to €3.82 billion ($4.35 billion) during the first nine months thanks to an increase in the group’s global subscriber base, which reached 15.4 million subscribers. While revenues for the pay-TV channels of Canal Plus in mainland France have declined, revenues for Studiocanal, the company’s film and TV production, distribution and sales division, rose by 10.3% over the same period, driven by more theatrical releases and strong home entertainment sales. The division owes its performance in large parts to the global success of “Paddington 2,” with Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw.
Studiocanal has also just scored with Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim,” which world premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival and has lured more than 3 million moviegoers since being released Oct. 24 in France.
Canal Plus Group recently inked two major deals with SFR to access popular soccer tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and English Premier League, and with TF1 Group to distribute TF1 channels and non-linear services on Canal Plus packages.
As previously reported, Canal Plus also just renewed its contract with French film guilds to invest up to €180 million ($205 million) per year in local and European movies from 2019 to 2023.
Vivendi anounced during its Sept. 15 shareholders meeting that it has shortlisted about 15 banks to handle the sale of half of Universal Music Group, whose revenues were up 13.5% during the third quarter of 2018. A deal could be sealed early next year, said the company.
Vivendi recently acquired Editis, France’s second-largest French publishing group, which is valued at €900 million. The deal, which requires the approval of the French Competition Authority, is expected to close in late 2018 or early 2019.