Vivendi Steady As Music Sales Fall

Universal Music Group sales have fallen 13.4 percent to euro 889 million but parent company Vivendi remains on course to hit its 2010 targets.

Consumers bought less recorded music and digital revenue decreased 1.7 percent because of slower ringtone sales, but sales of its video games – particularly “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” – plugged the gap.

In 2008, Vivendi created Activision Blizzard, the world’s largest video game company, by combining U.S. producer Activision with its own Vivendi Games division.

Activision Blizzard reported first-quarter profit that doubled to euro 308 million on games sales.

The group posted a quarterly operating profit of euro 1.6 billion from revenue of euro 6.9 billion. Its adjusted net profit was euro 736 million. Each figure handily beat analysts expectations.

Commenting on Universal Music’s performance, chief financial officer Philippe Capron said that for the time being “digital revenue is not as dynamic as it used to be.”

Chief exec Jean-Bernard Levy is targeting acquisitions in emerging markets and buyouts of minority partners in Vivendi’s European businesses to drive growth.