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Vivendi absorbs Canal+ call centre costs and unveils revenue expectations

Vivendi-HQVivendi now expects its revenues to grow by 5% at constant currency for 2017 while EBITA will take a modest hit after the group incurred exceptional costs relating to the closure and restructuring of Canal+ call centres.

Vivendi incurred costs of about €40 million in the fourth quarter related to the closure of the Canal+ call centre in Saint-Denis and the restructuring of another one in Rennes.

Group EBITA, after exceptional costs, is now expected to grow by about 20% to 25% excluding the positive impact of the integration of Havas.

In a communiqué issued ahead of its full year results, Canal+ said Canal+’s subscriber performance over the full year was “satisfactory”, without giving details. It added that over three million customers had been signed up to the pay TV service through its deals with telecom operators, helping take the overall Canal+ global subscriber base to over 15.5 million.

Vivendi said that Canal+ EBITA excluding restructuring costs is expected to grow by over 30% to reach €365 million for the full year. The group said that the improvement in performance had led it to “accelerate reorganisation projects”, including the call centre closure and reorganisation. It said the operating cost of the Rennes call centre was double the amount charged by third-party providers.

Vivendi said it is also investing in new activities including CanalOlympia, Vivendi Africa, live events, Vivendi Content and Dailymotion.

Vivendi’s performance was boosted by Universal Music Group, which it said maintained its “excellent momentum” in the fourth quarter, leading to expected revenue growth of around 10% and an improvement in EBITA of close to 20%. The music outfit remains the engine of Vivendi’s growth, boosted recently by the signing of new deals with Spotify, YouTube and Facebook.