Vivendi Universal says sales in the first quarter of 2006 stood at EUR4.766 billion, up 5.7% from EUR4.509 billion a year earlier driven by gains across the group. On a comparable basis, sales were up 6.5%. Vivendi’s mobile unit SFR reported a 3.4% rise in revenues from EUR2.064 billion to EUR2.135 billion, up by 2.9% on a comparable basis.
The group said that higher customer numbers and increased voice and data traffic were offset by tariff cuts imposed by the regulator from 1 January and as a result of it offering cheap deals in a competitive market. Excluding the effects of the tariff cuts, SFR sales rose 7.2% in the quarter. The cellco also reported strong uptake of both its 2G and 3G services. It ended the quarter with 1.352 million UMTS customers, up from 1.003 million at the start of the year, while the net addition of 130,000 new 2G users boosted its total to 17.328 million. The post-paid subscriber base grew by 12.7% year-on-year to 11.039 million, and average voice usage (AUPU) rose by 14.3% to 309 minutes per month. Net data revenues as a percentage of total revenues were also up at 13.5% from 11.8% partly as a result of an increase in text messaging usage.