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Struggling mobile unit hits bottom line of French conglomerate

Vivendi FY Profits Down 13.6%

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2/26/2013
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PARIS --
Vivendi 2012 earnings

  • Revenues: €28.994 billion, up 0.6% (-0.7% at constant currency) compared to 2011.
  • EBITA: €5.283 billion, down 9.8% (-10.7% at constant currency) compared to 2011. Activision Blizzard (+€138 million), GVT (+€92 million) and Universal Music Group (+€18 million) record excellent performances, in particular during the fourth quarter.
  • Adjusted Net Income: €2.550 billion, down 13.6% compared to 2011 mainly due to SFR’s lower EBITA.
  • Adjusted Net Income before impact of non-recurring items: €2.86 billion compared to an outlook of around €2.7 billion.
  • Earnings attributable to Vivendi SA shareowners: €164 million. These earnings are affected by non-recurring items having a negative impact: the reserve accrual regarding Liberty Media Corporation, -€945 million, and the impairment of Canal+ France, -€665 million.
  • Net debt: €13.4 billion, i.e. below the €14 billion tag announced.
  • Proposal to distribute a cash dividend of €1 per share. Commenting the 2012 annual results, Jean-François Dubos, Chairman of the Management Board, said: “Despite a challenging economic environment, all Vivendi subsidiaries reached their outlook in 2012. Faced with new market conditions and intense competition, some subsidiaries also reorganized their operations and put in place cost reduction programs. Activision Blizzard delivered an exceptional year thanks to a series of successful launches. SFR pursued the repositioning of its business model, including the implementation of a voluntary departure plan, in order to maximize its value, and stabilized its customer base. SFR was the first operator to offer the next generation 4G mobile network to both private customers and companies. Maroc Telecom group recorded strong growth in its international activities. GVT’s development was once again confirmed with its network expansion and a new pay-TV offer. Three major strategic transactions in content were successfully concluded in 2012: the acquisition of EMI Recorded Music reinforced Universal Music Group’s position as a worldwide leader in music; and Canal+ Group strengthened its position in free-to-air TV in France, and in Poland, consolidated its presence in pay-TV while entering the free-to-air market. These transactions are in line with Vivendi’s desire to strengthen its positions in media and content where Vivendi has all the assets needed to assert itself as a European-born, global leader. Our ongoing strategic review will define precisely, and as and when appropriate, the right paths to increase the group’s overall value and to best serve shareholder interests.” SFR
    SFR revenues amounted to €11,288 million, a 7.3% decrease compared to 2011 due to the progressive impact of price cuts related to the competitive environment and to price cuts imposed by the regulators. Excluding the impact of these regulatory decisions, revenues decreased by 3.3%. Mobile revenues amounted to €7,516 million, an 11.1% decrease compared to 2011. During the fourth quarter, SFR’s postpaid mobile customer base increased by 109,000 additions. At the end of 2012, SFR’s postpaid mobile customer base reached 16.563 million, stable compared to 2011. The customer mix (the percentage of the number of postpaid customers in the total customer base) amounted to 80.1%, a 2.9 percentage point increase year-on-year. SFR’s total mobile customer base reached 20.690 million. Mobile Internet usage continued to progress, with 49% of SFR customers equipped with a smartphone (41% at the end of 2011). SFR became the first French operator to open the 4G network to the mass market and enterprises. After Lyon on November 29, 2012, the 4G network was launched in Montpellier and Paris-La Défense. Four additional cities will open in the first half 2013. This offer includes the availability of a wide range of compatible equipment and is based on « Formules Carrées » packages. SFR also introduced a new pricing policy in January 2013 offering the best value/price ratio on the market both for its low-cost offers and its premium offers, the latter remaining the choice of the majority in the French market. Broadband Internet and fixed revenues10 amounted to €3,963 million, a 0.9% decrease compared to 2011, and a 0.3% increase excluding the impact of regulated price cuts. At the end of 2012, the postpaid broadband Internet residential customer base reached 5.075 million, with 56,000 net additions11 year-on-year. The customer base for the quadruple play offer (“Multi-Pack de SFR”) reached 1.8 million at the end of 2012. SFR’s EBITDA amounted to €3,299 million, a 13.2% decrease compared to 2011. Excluding negative and positive non-recurring items (-€15 million in 2012 and +€93 million in 2011), EBITDA decreased by 10.6%. EBITA amounted to €1,600 million, a 29.8% decrease. Excluding negative and positive non-recurring items and restructuring charges, EBITA decreased by 18.0%. In 2012, SFR launched an adaptation plan while continuing to invest in 4G and fiber infrastructures and adapt its organization to changing market conditions. In November, SFR announced a voluntary redundancy plan with a target of 856 net departures. For 2013, SFR expects EBITDA of close to €2.9 billion and Capex around €1.6 billion. Vivendi
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