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Universal Revenue Down 10%

LONDON (VIP NEWS) Universal Music Group’s revenues in the six months to June 30 stood at €2.0 billion, down 10.4% on the €2.23 billion it posted for the same period in 2013.

The figure was down 6% at constant currency and down 3.2% at constant currency and `constant perimeter` – a model by which the impacts of operating the temporary Parlophone Label Group in 2013 are discounted.

Recorded music made up €1.6 billion of the €2.0 billion figure, down 11.8% year-on-year from €1.8 billion in 2013, or 3.8% at constant currency and constant perimeter.

Vivendi blamed this dip of “the accelerated transformation of the recorded music industry and phasing of key releases vs. H1 2013”.

Digital music revenues grew 3%, with Vivendi confirming that a “significant growth in subscription and streaming” offset a decline in download sales.

Universal Music Publishing Group’s revenues were up year-on-year, increasing 1.3% from €303 million in H1 2013 to €307 million in H1 2013 – up 6.1% at constant perimeter and constant currency. Vivendi said this boost was “in part due to a reclassification of income from recorded music”.

However, UMG’s EBITA was up 7% year-on-year to €153 million, up 14.5% at constant currency and up 41.9% at constant perimeter and constant currency. The EBITA included cost savings associated with the adoption of EMI into the business.

Parent company Vivendi said that UMG’s sales “benefited from higher digital revenues (+3% at constant currency and perimeter)” but were more than offset by lower physical revenues”.

It added that: “UMG is gaining market share in most markets.”

Vivendi itself posted first-half 2014 revenues of €5.5 billion – down 3.5% year-on-year but up 1.3% at constant currency.

Its adjusted net profit for the period stood at €355 million, down slightly 1.1% year-on-year.

The company’s debt has been cut by more than half, down from €17.4 billion at the end of June 2013 to €7.9 billion.

Vivendi says it expects the sale of French telco SFR to be completed in the ‘coming months’, which will give it €12.9 billion in cash as well as a 20% stake in the newly-formed SFR/Numericable company. — According to MusicWeek