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Vivendi surpasses Q1 estimates, points to UMG growth

French media conglomerate Vivendi surpassed first-quarter estimates after reporting a revenue increase of 5.7 per cent on a constant currency basis to €3.46bn ($3.91bn/£2.99bn).

Vivendi Village, which includes See Tickets and Digitick, saw a small rise of 0.4 per cent in revenue during the period to €23m. Organic growth was 16.4 per cent.

Vivendi, which is controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore, attributed its quarterly boost to the success of Universal Music Group (UMG). The record company has seen growth of 19 per cent on a constant currency basis to €1.5bn, which could work in Vivendi’s favour as it aims to sell as much as 50 per cent of the unit to one or more partners.

UMG was initially valued at around $44bn at the start of the year by Deutsche Bank, but Morgan Stanley upped that to $50bn in February. Potential buyers mentioned in recent months include Liberty Media, Apple, Tencent and Google, Variety reports.

Vivendi also attributed its Q1 rise to the consolidation of its January acquisition, French-language publishing group Editis.

According to figures released in February, the firm’s ticketing brands, including See Tickets (UK and US), Digitick and Paylogic, posted a record-breaking 20 million ticket sales in 2018 across the UK, Europe and the US. The firm’s ticketing revenues hit €58m (£50.5m/$65.7m), which marks a 9.9 per cent increase from the previous year, likely boosted by the Paylogic acquisition in April.

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