Universal Suffers Sales Dip

Universal Music Group saw sales drop more than 5.4 percent in the first six months of 2010, but the Vivendi-owned company expects the second half of the year will be better.

Strong sales from relatively new acts such as Lady Gaga and Florence & the Machine failed to stop the slide, but Universal hopes it will do better from the albums that Welsh singer Duffy, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, and the Black Eyed Peas have in the pipeline.
Vivendi’s blaming Universal’s sales on fewer major releases and the shrinking CD market.

It’s not something to cause any sort of panic in the parent company’s Paris HQ, which announced the group’s net profits up to $1.96 billion – a 4 percent hike on the $1.88 billion it made in the first six months of last year ago.

Vivendi posted overall revenues of $17.91 billion up to June 30, up 6.1 percent on a year earlier. It now expects 2010 profit to exceed the $ 3.32 billion it made in 2009.

The French media giant’s empire also includes French pay TV channel Canal+ and a majority stake in French telecom operator SFR.