Vivendi's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Vivendi SA ( VIVDY.PK)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

March 1, 2012 5:30 am ET

Executives

Jean-Louis Erneux – Vice President Press Relations and New Media

Jean-Bernard Lévy – Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer

Bertrand Meheut – Member, Vivendi Management Board and Chairman, Canal+ Group Management Board

Philippe Capron – Member of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer

Presentation

Jean-Louis Erneux

Good morning to all. I’m Jean-Louis Erneux, Director of Vivendi Press Relations. Thank you for coming in such large number and please do be seated. I’d like to thank the photographers if they could try to refrain now from taking further photos.

I also wanted to ask you to please be seated. Slowly we’d surely have quick response. I’d like to give the floor without further to ado to Jean-Bernard Lévy.

Jean-Bernard Lévy

Good morning to you one and all. Thank you for attending this morning. This is our information meeting on Vivendi’s results strategy and outlook. I’m going to be saying a few words to you, then Bertrand Meheut will speak. He’ll be talking to you about Canala+’s strategy and objectives. Particularly after the two strategic decisions that were taken and announced at the end of last year firstly, to reinforce our position in free-to-air TV in France, and secondly to invest further in Pay TV and free-to-air TV in Poland. And after hearing from Bertrand Meheut, we’ll hear from Phillipe Capron, our CFO who will give you all the necessary clarifications regarding the Vivendi’s financial performance and our financial statements.

I’d also like to greet others who are here in this room today. The CEO of SFR, Frank Esser; Amos Genish, CEO, GVT who came from Brazil; Abdeslam Ahizoune, CEO of Morac Telecom who has come from Rabat (inaudible) who is in charge of Universal Music for France, Latin countries as well as South America. I’d like to thank all of them for attending. And later on, they will be available to answer any questions you may have.

I’d also like to really thank them for their work and pay tribute to them. I’d like also thank all of the Vivendi’s team members around 55,000 employees. 55,000 employees are currently at Vivendi in approximately 60 countries. They’ve been an outstanding contribution. They’ve shown great motivation and that’s what its all about, that’s what our performance inches on.

Especially in 2011, the Vivendi achieved the best results in its history, an excellent year, which I think just proves the effectiveness of our business model demonstrates the soundness of our group, which has been little affected by the crisis. This has proved that our ongoing continued investments the term investments in network platforms and high quality content have been bearing fruit.

Our model is based on subscription. This is working well. We have tens of millions of subscribers worldwide for our various products and services. This also proves that our efforts have been successful in uniting the different Vivendi businesses around several common themes.

We’ve made progress. We’ve helped our experts co-operate, all within the IT innovation, innovation to serve the customer, to meet the ever growing demand. The demand has never quenched for the digital consumers, especially young people who began – who were born sorry into the digital era. There are many young people at high growth countries so we have to make further efforts to go to these countries where the economies are growing faster than elsewhere.

And of course, alongside all of this, clearly we are going to continue optimizing the way we manage our costs, so that we can share best practices across the group. That’s the strategy that we are currently implanting. Later on, I’ll review what we’ve already achieved to improve our growth in an area by fostering innovation and investing in emerging countries.

Now today, the Vivendi group is agile, it’s proactive, responsive. But clearly in recent months, our group has been attacked on several fronts. Firstly, we saw a toughening in tax laws, especially in France that very much penalized us. We’ve been able to overcome the effectiveness. Last years results are very good, the (inaudible) overcame, but the tax pressure is a problem for a country that’s very much part of French industrial—industrial fabric.

In some of our major areas, we’re seeing the arrival of new competitors. For instance pay TV in France, mobile, telephone in France and mobile, telephone in Morocco. We’re under greater pressure, 2012 and then for 2013 probably as well will be more difficult years. This fact is leading us to really double our attention on very tightly managing our cost base across all of our activities as Philippe Capron will demonstrate later. This is also leading us to be more cautious on our outlook and future results.

But I would like to share with you the firm belief that I have is Vivendi’s strategy and its efficiency and effectiveness.

I’m not just looking back into the past; looking (inaudible) we’ve already managed to achieve build and rebuild our set. but more importantly, I’m looking forward and as when I look forward that I feel very confident indeed.

My belief, confidence is based first and foremost on our customers and there are basically never ending needs. I’m talking about digital customers who are constantly looking for more content and more sharing. this is at the heart of the biggest strategy, so we can call the digital customer.

if we look at smartphone penetration, we’d see the success of new ways of watching TV. we’d see the fact that broadband speed is ever increasing. We’d see that people are very demanding, when it comes to quality, they want ever-greater quality. We see there are more and more viewers for attractive, exclusive content that is often very global content. Think of activities where we’re global leaders, video games and music, and we’re generally speaking, we know the people have social needs, look at social networks and they’re great increase. So here, the various growth drivers that are really extraordinary growth engines for us at Vivendi. This really promises a great success for us.

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