French media and telecommunications giant Vivendi Universal has posted stronger than expected third quarter results, with the company singling out the success of Blizzard's World of WarCraft
in its games sector as one of the key reasons for the improvement.
For the three months ended September 30th, the group as a whole saw revenues rise 12 percent from the same time last year to €4.87 billion ($5.84 billion), beating analyst expectations of €4.77 billion ($5.72 billion).
The better than expected results were attributed partly to a strong telecom performance and the doubling of revenues for its game division, Vivendi Universal Games, which saw revenue increase by 88 percent (92 percent at constant currency) to €158 million ($189 million). This dramatic increase was driven by the global success of Blizzard's World of WarCraft
, which has become one of the most successful PC games of all time, with 4 million paying customers worldwide over all territories.
Elewhere in the game division, sales for The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
were described as “promising”, while movie license Robots
, Novalogic’s Delta Force: Black Hawk Down
and race game FlatOut
where also reported as receiving “strong” sales. Interestingly the company also noted continued strong sales of 2003’s The Simpsons: Hit & Run
– despite the loss of the license
yesterday to Electronic Arts.
In common with traditional French business practices, the company’s earnings will be reported separately on November 17th, and thus actual profit values for the quarter are yet to be revealed.