The consolidation of former Bolloré-owned free-to-air channels D8 and D17 and the merger between Polish pay TV unit Cyfra+ with rival ‘n’ to form nc+ boosted Canal+ Group’s top line for the first half, but the group’s EBITA was hit by content costs and a softening of the advertising market.
The Vivendi-owned pay TV operator saw 5.3% growth in revenues year-on-year in the six months to June, taking its total to €2.6 billion.
Canal+ had 14 million subscribers worldwide at the end of June, boosted by significant growth in Africa and Vietnam. In France, the operator saw ARPU grow by €1.6 year-on-year to €49.50.
Canal+ EBITA for the period was €449 million before exceptional costs, hit by investment in content and a decline in the advertising market. Canal+ has revised its EBITA target for the full year to €650 million excluding transition costs as a result of the ad market being less robust than predicted.
In France, D8 saw its audience share grow to 3.4% in June, up 1.1% year-on-year. Canal+ is currently preparing the launch of its new Canal+ Séries channel, which will air French and international series, including Canal+ original content. During the first half Canal+ struck deals with HBO for new series covering the five seasons to come of key shows, and a deal with A+E Networks covering the acquisition, production and digital distribution of content.
Parent group Vivendi posted first half revenues of €10.842 billion, down 1.5%, while EBITA fell dramatically by 27% to €1.391 billion. The group was hit in particular by telecom operator SFR’s results, down as a result of intense competition in the mobile market.