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Vivendi to ‘keeping investing’ in Canal+, plans MyCanal international rollouts

Vivendi will “keep investing” in Canal+ both in France and internationally, both in programming and technology, despite the ongoing challenges the pay TV outfit faces, with a planned rollout of the MyCanal app internationally, according to chairman and CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine.

Speaking to analysts after Vivendi posted its full-year results, De Puyfontaine said that Canal+ would “roll out its digital offer abroad with the MyCanal app”. He said that the parent company would continue to invest in Canal+ programming and technology “because there is a strong need to boost revenue growth”.

Canal+ added 654,000 subscribers in the year to December, taking its total to 15.6 million. However, the group’s domestic French subscribers base declined from 8.1 million to 7.8 million thanks to a collapse in SVOD service Canalplay’s subscriber base and the dropping of the old Canalsat offering in favour of new packages and subscriptions via wholesale partnership with telecom operators. On the positive side, the Canal+ premium channel saw its base in increase by 251,000 taking its total to 8.3 million including collective subscriptions.

Canal+ revenues were 0.3% down at €5.166 billion for the year, with revenues in France dropping 3.4%, driven lower by the decline in subscribers. The domestic decline was largely offset by international growth. Internationally, Canal+ Group revenues were up 6.8% on the strength of an 883,000 increase in subscribers.

Film unit Studiocanal saw its revenues slip 0.6% to €462 million thanks to the absence of the equivalent of Paddington 2, its star performer for international sales in 2017.

The group turned in EBITA before restructuring charges of €428 million, up €80 million.

Vivendi’s revenues grew by 11.3% to €13.932 billion thanks to the impact of the consolidation of advertising arm Havas and strong growth at Universal Music Group. The music outfit and Canal+’s improved performance helped boost group EBITA to €1.288 billion, up 33%. Vivendi is in the process of seeking a partner to invest in UMG in the course of the next year.