Vivendi reports robust results; quiet on NBCU

France-based media group Vivendi reported third-quarter results on November 12, but refused to comment on what it plans to do with its 20% stake in NBC Universal. Majority NBCU shareholder General Electric wants to buy the Vivendi share and close a deal with Comcast in a deal that would leave the US cabler with a 51% share.

Meanwhile, the French company reported revenues of €19.5bn for the first nine months of 2009, a 9.8% increase year-on-year. EBITA profit was €4.2bn, up 10.3% year-on-year. The company said it was carrying €8.3bn of debt as of end-September.

The company’s pay-TV unit Canal Plus recorded an EBITA profit of €754m in the year to September compared with €621m a year earlier. Revenues were €3.36bn compared with €3.39bn a year earlier. The company attributed the profit increase to price increases, cost reductions and the continuing positive impact of absorbing former pay-TV rival TPS.

Its cumulative subscriber base stood at 11.9 million at end-September, a 466,000 increase year-on-year. The total included a Polish subscriber base of 1.4 million, up 289,000 year-on-year. It also includes the 39,000 French-speaking Multichoice Africa subs it acquired earlier this year. The company said that 90% of its subs base now take its digital service.