Cegetel and Maroc help narrow Vivendi losses, whilst disposals cut debt by half

25 Sep 2003

Debt-heavy French media and telecoms giant Vivendi Universal looks to have turned the corner and yesterday predicted a return to profit as losses narrowed in its earnings update for the first half of 2003. The conglomerate said that its enforced disposal policy resulted in debts being cut by half to EUR13.7 billion, whilst strong growth at its telcos Cegetel and Maroc Telecom, which posted a combined operating profit of EUR1.3 billion, helped cut half-year losses to EUR632 million, from EUR12.31 billion twelve months before. Vivendi also announced that it expects to ink a deal to merge its US entertainment business with General Electric’s NBC in the next few weeks, for completion in 2Q2004.