Activision Blizzard also announced a cash dividend of $0.165 per common share with respect to fiscal year 2010, a 10% increase.
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group’s (UMG) revenues were €4,449 million, a 2.0% increase compared to 2009 (a 3.6% decrease at constant currency) with the favorable currency movements and growth in digital sales and merchandising more than offsetting declining physical product sales and slightly lower music publishing activity. Digital sales increased 13.8% year-on-year.
UMG’s EBITA was €471 million, a 18.8% decline compared to 2009. Changes in sales mix, restructuring costs and write-downs from underperforming investments offset operating cost savings.
Under the leadership of new CEO Lucian Grainge, UMG has launched a significant reorganization plan leading to cost optimization, redeployment of resources towards key initiatives such as further expanding the company’s creative investments, including maintaining high investment in local artists and talents, support and development of new digital platforms and services, and a more global approach. By the end of 2011, cost savings are expected to reach €100 million globally on a full year basis.
Major 2010 sellers included titles from Eminem, Taylor Swift, and Japan’s Masaharu Fukuyama, in addition to prior year releases from Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas. Vevo’s success is confirmed: 1# online music destination in the United States, it had nearly 60 million unique viewers in December 2010.
UMG continues to lead the music industry in supporting new digital services, recently partnering with Indian telecom Reliance Communications (RCOM) to launch the first-ever comprehensive music service for that developing market. UMG also continues to expand its global television presence, completing deals with such ratings leaders as “American Idol” (Fox) in the United States and “The Voice Of…” in Holland and in the United States (NBC).
SFR’s revenues were €12,577 million, a 1.2% increase compared to 2009, despite a more competitive market and substantial tariff cuts resulting from regulatory decisions. Excluding the regulated price cut impacts, revenues increased by 5.8%.