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Vivendi Universal Sales Up, Game Sales Down

French-headquartered media giant Vivendi Universal, which owns multiple subsidiaries Universal Music, cable and satellite TV business Canal Plus, and mobile business SFR,...
French-headquartered media giant Vivendi Universal, which owns multiple subsidiaries Universal Music, cable and satellite TV business Canal Plus, and mobile business SFR, as well as game unit Vivendi Universal Games, has announced sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 of 5.48 billion euros ($6.67 billion), up from 5.12 billion euros ($6.19 billion) a year earlier. The results, which were slightly under analyst estimates but still relatively well-received, were led by European mobile carrier revenue increases, but were a little adversely affected by Vivendi Universal Games' revenues of 245 million euros ($296 million), which were down 7.2% from an exceptionally large last quarter in 2004. That quarter saw the highly successful launch of World of Warcraft in North America as well as Sierra's publishing of Valve's Half-Life 2 in retail form. Thus, the Q4 2005 VUG releases, which included the million-selling 50 Cent: Bulletproof, F.E.A.R., and Crash Tag Team Racing, as well as the Taiwanese launch of World Of Warcraft and continuing WoW subscription revenues, couldn't quite match up. However, overall, Vivendi Universal Games' revenues of 641 million euros ($775 million) were up 34.9% compared to prior year, largely due to the exceptional success of World Of Warcraft and late-year sales for 50 Cent: Bulletproof. Vivendi shares responded minorly to the results, down 22c to $31.48 in mid-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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