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Vivendi Sees Boosted Revenues, Slight Profit Gain In First Half

French conglomerate Vivendi SA, majority owner of game publisher Activision Blizzard, posted a slight increase in year-over-year profits for the first half of 2009, on a 17 percent gain in revenue.
French conglomerate Vivendi SA, majority owner of game publisher Activision Blizzard, posted a slight increase in year-over-year profits for the first half of 2009, on a 17 percent gain in revenue. Revenue was up to 13.18 billion euros (U.S. $18.72 billion), from 11.27 billion euros (U.S. $16 billion) in the same period of the prior year. Net profits rose a slight 0.9 percent year over year from 1.47 billion euros (U.S. $2.08 billion) to 1.45 billion euros (U.S. $2.07 billion). Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy called the company's showing "a very solid performance in the first half of 2009 in a tough environment," and the firm pegged the slight gain in profits relative to revenue as being a result of "an increase in interest expenses and minority interests." Activision Blizzard, of which Vivendi owns 56.06 percent as of July 31, 2009, announced its quarterly earnings early last month, posting strong revenue that marginally surpassed analyst expectations. In today's Vivendi release, the company called Activision Blizzard's performance "better than expected" and specifically credited the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises, as well as World of Warcraft. The publisher is heading toward its "strongest video game slate ever" this holiday season, according to Vivendi.

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