Vivendi 2001 Media, Telecommunications Sales Rise 9%

Popular movies and revenue diversity boost the top line.
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Vivendi Universal

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said sales in its media and communications businesses rose 9% to 28.9 billion euros, or about $25 billion, in 2001 sparked by the success of several movies and consistent gains across its disparate product lines.

Including its 63%-owned utility company, Vivendi Environnement, Vivendi's revenue rose 10% to 58.2 billion euros.

In premarket trading, the company's American depositary receipts were rising $1, or 2.4%, to $42.40 on Instinet.

Europe's biggest media company said film and television sales rose 8% to 9.5 billion euros. The results were boosted by the success of movies like

Jurassic Park 3

,

American Pie 2

,

The Fast and the Furious

, and

Bridget Jones's Diary

and video/DVD sales of

The Mummy Returns

.

The company, which has been cobbled together through acquisitions over the last year and a half at a cost of $50 billion, said it expects to achieve 10% sales growth again in 2002.

Vivendi's revenue diversity partially insulated it from the decline in the advertising market, with its telecommunications unit posting a 24% sales increase to 7.98 billion euros. Sales at Vivendi Universal Publishing, which includes the recently acquired Houghton-Mifflin, rose 5% to 4.72 billion euros. Its games unit rose 23%, while educational publishing sales rose 9%.