Telcos boost Vivendi 1H

European media conglomerate Vivendi has upped its full-year forecasts, after a strong performance by its telecoms and TV businesses boosted 1H profits 4%.
Group profit hit €1.5 billion during 1H as revenues increased 6.1% to €13.9 billion on the back of increased sales at SFR, Maroc Telecom, and Brazilian cellco GVT, the results of which Vivendi has included from end-April after acquiring the operator late 2009.
The figures prompted Vivendi to predict full-year profits will beat the €2.59 billion made in 2009, the BBC reported, as CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy declared the firm is “back to growth.”
French telco SFR contributed €6.2 billion towards group revenues during the period - up 1.8% on 1H09 – as growing fixed and mobile subscriptions offset lower income caused by a regulator-imposed price cut.
Mobile EBITDA grew 1.7% to €1.7 billion, with fixed EBITDA up 33.3% to €408 million.
The firm says SFR’s full-year EBITDA should see double-digit growth over 2009, in updated guidance.
Lévy said his long-term goal to buy Vodafone’s 44% stake in SFR remains uncertain, because the carrier hasn’t expressed any interest in selling, Bloomberg reported.
A buoyant Moroccan market saw Vivendi’s local carrier Maroc Telecom grow sales 5.9% to €1.3 billion during 1H10, while Brazilian subsidiary GVT generated revenues of €444 million and EBITDA of €184 million, as voice and broadband sales grew 32.3% and 73% respectively.
“GVT is, for this year and the future, a strong growth driver and we have increased its investment program,” Lévy said.
Canal+, the firm’s TV business, recorded modest 3.1% sales growth, generating €2.3 billion in 1H10. Vivendi said subscriptions grew 356,000 in France, Africa and other overseas territories, with ARPU up €1.90 to €46.30 by end-June.