Canal Plus, SFR boost Vivendi earnings

1 Sep 2008

French media and telecoms group Vivendi reported a higher than expected net profit in its fiscal second quarter ended 30 June, boosted by a strong performance from pay-TV operator Canal Plus and telecoms arm SFR. Group adjusted net income rose to EUR757 million (USD1.1 billion) in the period under review, up marginally from EUR755 million in April-June 2007. Analysts had predicted average adjusted net income of EUR728 million in a poll conducted by Bloomberg. In an e-mailed statement, Vivendi reaffirmed its forecast for full-year earnings growth similar to that in FY2007. The company said group revenue for 2Q08 was EUR5.99 billion, up 15% year-on-year, boosted by the acquisition of French fixed line and broadband provider neuf Cegetel. Vivendi acquired the unit in April to add broadband internet capability to its SFR wireless unit. Net income was EUR667 million, up 12% year–on-year, and better than analyst predictions of around EUR598 million. Net income was stabilised as higher earnings from Canal Plus offset a decline in profitability at its SFR mobile operator business. SFR, France’s second largest wireless operator after Orange France, recorded a 1% drop in operating profit to EUR716 million in 2Q08, Vivendi said. Mobile EBITDA was EUR1.787 billion, a decrease of EUR19 million on 2Q07, although revenues climbed 2.7% it said. Broadband internet and fixed line EBITDA was EUR145 million in the three months ended 30 June 2008, up from EUR128 million a year earlier.

France, SFR