Vivendi SA beat estimates for first-quarter sales as the French media conglomerate controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore continued to benefit from a buoyant music market.

Revenue rose 5.7 percent on a constant currency basis to 3.46 billion euros ($3.91 billion) from 3.12 billion euros a year ago, the company said in a statement on Monday. Analysts had expected 3.38 billion euros.

Key Insights

  • The results may bode well for Vivendi’s effort to sell as much as 50 percent of its Universal Music Group unit, a bright spot for the group. Revenue at the world’s biggest record company, grew 19 percent on a constant currency basis to 1.5 billion euros.
  • The sales process is moving along; Vivendi said it should soon be done selecting banks and advisers and that PwC is conducting vendor due diligence.
  • Universal Music Group could be worth $30 billion, Morgan Stanley said in a note last month.
  • Vivendi’s weak spot in the quarter was Canal+, its TV arm, where revenue dropped 3.3 percent on a constant currency basis, as it lost subscribers in France.

Market Performance

  • Vivendi shares rose 1.1 percent to 26.56 euros as of 9:22 a.m. in Paris. The stock has gained 25 percent so far this year as investors welcome the prospective stake sale in UMG. Vivendi has said that the sale proceeds would be used for share buybacks as well as potential acquisitions.

Get More

  • For the numbers, look here
  • Bollore may face some challenges from minority investors at Vivendi’s annual meeting Monday, with some of them concerned he may wield even more power after he steps down from the board. His family holding Bollore SA owns 26.3 percent in Vivendi.
  • Read about Bollore’s tough year here