PARIS -French media giant Vivendi’s first-quarter sales grew by 7.9% at constant exchange rates and excluding acquisitions, driven by its pay-TV and advertising operations, it said on Monday.
Total revenue advanced to 2.38 billion euros ($2.56 billion) from 2.1 billion a year ago. Pay-TV Canal Plus, now the company’s biggest asset after the spin-off of Universal Music Group, increased sales by 6% to 1.45 billion euros.
Sales at Vivendi’s advertising unit Havas rose by 11.3% to 591 millions euros.
The group’s publishing division Editis, sales of which declined by 1.7% in the quarter, is among the assets being reviewed by EU antitrust authorities as Vivendi seeks to acquire French media and retail group Lagardere.
Lagardere is home to Hachette, France’s biggest publishing company, as well as Paris Match and Journal du Dimanche.
Vivendi, controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore, raised its offer in February and is ready to spend as much as 2 billion euros to acquire all of Lagardere’s listed shares.
The tender offer will close on May 20. In its statement, Vivendi said it would like to keep Arnaud Lagardere, the son of Lagardere’s founder, as chief executive of the company.
($1 = 0.9284 euros)
(Reporting by Mathieu RosemainEditing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and David Goodman)