Paris-based communications and entertainment group Vivendi reported a better-than-expected 5.1% rise in third-quarter underlying profits, bolstered by a strong performance at its SFR telecoms division and pay-TV unit Canal Plus, and confirmed its full-year 2009 outlook. For the first nine months of the year Vivendi said consolidated revenues reached EUR19.525 billion (USD29.182 billion), up 9.8% year-on-year while consolidated EBITDA increased 10.3% to EUR4.245 billion and adjusted net income climbed 1.6% to EUR2.112 billion. SFR’s revenues increased by 9.6% y-o-y to EUR9.230 billion, due to the consolidation of neuf Cegetel since 15 April 2008. On a comparable basis Vivendi said SFR’s revenues decreased by 0.5% over the year. The unit posted mobile revenues of EUR6.684 billion, a 0.5% decrease compared to the same period of 2008, of which service revenues decreased by 1% on a comparable basis to EUR6.364 billion, it said. On a positive note, data revenues as a proportion of overall service revenues increased from 17% in 2008 to 23% for the first nine months of 2009. SFR added a net 573,000 new mobile users in January-September 2009, lifting its customer base to 20.215 million. Sales of the Apple iPhone helped improve the overall customer mix with post-paid accounts climbing 2.3 percentage points over the year to 71.3%.
Broadband internet and fixed revenues reached EUR2.796 billion, down 3.3% on a comparable basis compared to the same period in 2008. Excluding the impacts of the decrease in switched voice revenues, regulatory changes and the sale of assets of Club Internet network, Vivendi said broadband internet and fixed revenues increased by 2.4%. For the first nine months of 2009, the net growth of new broadband internet customers reached 404,000, for a total of 4.283 million at 30 September 2009.