Q4 Down For Vivendi; UMG Off 6.2%
March 1, 2010 at 5:17 AM (PT)
VIVENDI SA, parent company of UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, posted a smaller loss in Q4 and said it expects further growth in 2010. "At the end of last year, we took two important strategic decisions: selling our stake in NBC UNIVERSAL and buying GVT, the fastest-growing Brazilian telecom operator," said CEO JEAN-BERNARD LEVY. "These decisions will further enhance VIVENDI's momentum."
The company reported a net loss of eu958 million ($1.3 billion), versus a net loss of eu1.38 billion in Q4 2008. Revenue totaled eu7.61 billion, down slightly from eu7.62 billion.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports "The latest quarter included a eu550 million provision for a continuing U.S. class-action lawsuit brought by shareholders. Investors have worried about possible damages VIVENDI may have to pay after an American jury in FEBRUARY found VIVENDI liable for misstatements about its financial health in 2001 and 2002. VIVENDI said the amount of damages it might have to pay 'could differ significantly' from the eu550 million provision. The company is appealing the verdict and a final outcome in the case may only occur in 2011, LEVY said."
Universal Music Group
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP's revenues were eu4.363 million, a 6.2% decrease compared to 2008. Digital sales grew 8.4% with strong growth in online sales tempered by softening demand for mobile products in the UNITED STATES and JAPAN. Music publishing revenues increased 1.7% and merchandising grew 24.6% reflecting the successful integration of that business into UMG. However, recorded music sales declined due to a decrease in demand for physical products and lower license income.
Best sellers for the year included new releases from BLACK EYED PEAS, U2 and EMINEM, and from LADY GAGA and TAYLOR SWIFT.
UMG's 2009 EBITA of eu580 million declined 14.7% at constant currency compared to 2008.