‘Warcraft’ Still Ahead Of The Game

Sales of games such as “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty” have once again made up for a profit plunge at Vivendi’s music businesses.

Video games company Activision Blizzard’s revenues grew 9 percent to euro 1.86 billion and its pre-tax earnings were up 34.4 percent to euro 833 million, countering a miserable six months for Universal Music Group.

Universal, which has U2, Lady Gaga and Take That among its acts, saw earnings before interest, tax and amortisation fall by 17 percent to euro 132 million and revenues drop by 1.9 percent to euro 1.86 billion in the first half of 2011.

Despite the uncertainties of the global recorded music market, Vivendi chief exec Jean-Bernard Lévy says the company may still be interested in acquiring parts of EMI.

Within a week of the first-half results being announced, Vivendi purchased See Tickets UK, Britain’s second-largest ticketing company.

Vivendi, which also owns French pay-TV firm Canal+ and telecom operator SFR, reported total group revenues up 1.9 percent to euro 14.3 billion. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation rose 3.7 percent to euro 3.36 billion.

Adjusted net income, effectively profits after tax and interest, rose 20 percent to euro 1.8 billion.