Vivendi Q3 EBITDA up on Canal Plus, SFR earnings flat

15 Nov 2007

Media, entertainment and telecoms group Vivendi posted EBITDA of EUR1.335 billion (USD1.956 billion) in the three months ended 30 September, up 2.7% from EUR1.30 billion a year earlier, driven by a buoyant Canal Plus which offset declines at the group’s music division Universal Music Group (UMG) and flat earnings at French telco SFR. Vivendi’s third-quarter EBITDA was in line with market expectations and the group’s own full-year guidance. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had predicted 3Q07 EBITA in the range of EUR1.30 billion to EUR1.345 billion. Vivendi’s adjusted net profit was EUR721 million, down 1.4% year-on-year. SFR posted EBITDA of EUR702 million, down 0.6% on the corresponding period a year ago, despite a 5.2% rise in third quarter revenues. The unit’s sales were not adversely affected by a regulator imposed cut in SMS termination rates, it said. In the first nine months of 2007 SFR’s mobile data revenues climbed 3.9% year-on-year, largely the result of higher SMS and MMS spending and increased traffic for media content and mobile internet services.

SFR reported that turnover at its new ADSL division, following its purchase of the assets of Tele2 France (completed in July 2007), reached EUR108 million. By the start of October SFR had 373,000 ADSL customers and 2.219 million fixed line voice subscribers. For the first nine months of the year, SFR added 226,000 net new mobile customers, taking its registered customer base to 18.109 million, a 3.4% increase on a year-on-year basis. The contract customer base grew by 5.8% year-on-year to 11.990 million, leading to an improved customer mix of 1.5 percentage points in one year. 3G customers reached 3.5 million at the end of September 2007, compared to 2.7 million at the end of December 2006.

France, SFR