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Vivendi’s 2023 Revenues Rise by 9.5% to $11.4 Billion, Bolstered by Canal+ Group, Lagardere

Vivendi saw its revenues rise by 9.5% to €10.5 billion ($11.4 billion) in 2023, bolstered by the performance of Canal+ Group and Havas, as well as the integration of French media and publishing giant Lagardere in December. Vivendi also posted a net profit of $443 million (€405 million).

Canal+ Group, which comprises pay TV giant Canal+ and the production-distribution company Studiocanal (“Paddington”), is pursuing its international development, particularly in Asia, the Nordic countries and Africa. Canal + Group has just increased its stake in leading Chinese streamer Viu to 30%, and also owns a 30% stake in South African streamer MultiChoice, along with a 29.33% stake in Viaplay in the Nordics. Vivendi said it will make a mandatory offer for MultiChoice by April 8.

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Canal+ has also increased its subscriber base to 900,000 new subs, both in France and abroad in 2023. The group currently boasts 26.4 million subscribers in nearly 50 countries. In mainland France, Canal+ also recorded a net growth of 290,000 subscribers over the past twelve months, reaching 9.8 million subs. As the theatrical landscape mostly recovered from the pandemic in 2023, Studiocanal thrived thanks to successful releases in France, such as “Alibi.com,” which sold over 4 million admissions; the Cesar-nominated “All Your Faces,” which sold over 1.2 million tickets; and the critically acclaimed film “The Animal Kingdom,” which won five Cesar Awards and garnered 1.1 million admissions.

Lagardère, meanwhile, saw its revenue rise by 16.6% in 2023, thanks to the travel retail and publishing activities. Vivendi finalized the acquisition of Lagardere during the second half of 2023 after selling its publishing group Editis and Gala magazine, a flagship title of Prisma Group, in order to address anti-trust concerns by the European Commission.

Yannick Bolloré, chairman of Vivendi’s supervisory board, stated that the acquisition of Lagardere “enabled us to become the world’s third-largest publishing group, number one in France and number two in the UK, and a world leader in travel retail.”

The combination between Vivendi and Lagardère would represent a proforma revenues of €18 billion in 2023 (€16.5 billion in 2022), with a combined workforce of nearly 73,000 people, out of which 36,000 at the Lagardère group, according to Vivendi’s chairman. Vivendi’s advertising firm Havas also fared well in 2023, as it forged alliances in the technology field, notably in AI.

Bolloré, who officially took the reins of Vivendi from his father Vincent in 2022, also said the company is still studying the feasibility of its plan to split the French conglomerate into three businesses — pay TV group Canal+, advertising banner Havas and an investment vehicle comprising Lagardere Group. Each would each be listed separately at the Paris stock exchange. If approved, the splitting of the French company would take between 12 to 18 months, Vivendi said.

“If it goes ahead, this project would create value for all the Group’s stakeholders and would enable the creation of independent pure players with the necessary human resources and financial agility, capable of driving their own growth trajectory in an international context marked by numerous investment opportunities,” Bolloré continued.

The idea behind breaking down Vivendi into separate businesses is to help Bolloré and Vivendi shareholders seek a higher valuation for Canal+ and Havas and better leverage the growth of these assets.

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