PARIS, France (CelebrityAccess) — French media conglomerate Vivendi, parents company to Universal Music Group, took another step towards a possible IPO for the label giant.
On Thursday, Vivendi’s supervisory board approved a proposal from the company’s management board to undertake a study of a potential change in the Universal Music Group’s shareholding structure that could pave the way for the company to seek to take Universal public.
The disclosure came as the Vivendi announced first quarter results for UMG, which saw revenue grow by 4.5% (at constant currency) for the quarter when compared with the same period last year. In real terms, UMG generated €1.222 billion in revenue for the quarter, driven largely by the health of the streaming market, the company said.
Breakouts include an improvement of 5.9% for the company’s recorded music division, with revenue from streaming up by 31.5% for the quarter. The improvement more than offset declines in physical sales and downloads, which plummeted -26.2% and -25.6% respectively.
Recorded music best sellers for the first quarter of 2018 included the Black Panther soundtrack, a new release from Migos and carryover sales from Post Malone, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar.
Music publishing revenues grew by 3.9% at constant currency, lifted by the generous updrafts from subscription and streaming revenues, as well as improved performances revenues Vivendi said.
However, the company reported that merch sales fell precipitously for the quarter, down 18.7%, which the company ascribed to decreased touring activity and the timing of retail promotions.