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Vivendi soars on second-quarter results

LONDON - Shares in Vivendi Universal rose more than 5% this morning to €63.20 (£38.60) as the French media giant posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter results helped by strong performances from its film and telecoms units.

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During the three months to June 30, Vivendi said pro-forma revenues were €6.69bn (£4.1bn), up from €5.79bn (£3.5bn) last time. These figures assumed Vivendi had already acquired the Seagram business in the comparative period last year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to €1.3bn (£793.5m)

from €830m (£506.6m).

Vivendi's TV and film unit posted second-quarter Ebitda of €314m (£191.7m), up 84% from last time on revenues of €2.2bn (£1.3bn), an increase of 11% year on year.

Universal Studios, which Vivendi acquired as part of the Seagram drinks unit, saw Ebitda soar 193% to €169m (£103.2m) boosted by strong box office performances from The Mummy Returns, The Fast and the Furious and Jurassic Park III.

The telecoms unit saw revenues increase by 51% to €2bn (£1.2bn) and Ebitda grew 70% to €703m (£429.2m). The division's success was largely achieved because of a hike in subscriber numbers at its largest subsidiary Societe Francaise de Radiotelephone (SFR). The division added 640,000 customers bringing its total to 11.2m.

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