Universal Music Group posted a 2.5% decline in earnings before interest taxes and amortization in the first nine months of 2012 compared with a year ago, according to results posted by its French conglomerate parent Vivendi on Tuesday.
The world's largest music company posted EBITA of €238 million (about $302 million) while revenue rose by 2.1% to €2.9 billion ($3.68 billion) thanks in part to an 8.6% increase in digital sales and higher license income which helped offset falling demand for physical products like CDs.
However, on a constant currency basis, Universal Music's EBITA fell 5% and revenue also fell by 3.4%
Recorded music best-sellers year-to-date include releases from Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and Nicki Minaj, as well as Lana Del Rey and Carly Rae Jepsen.
The nine-month period to Sept. 30 does not include the acquisition of EMI Recorded Music which closed on Sept. 28.
Vivendi reaffirmed its stated objective to make £100 million ($158.7 million) of annual synergies for Universal Music post acquisition.
Following the recent acquisition of EMI Recorded Music, UMG said Tuesday: "The sale process of certain EMI recorded music assets is underway, and these divestments are generating robust interest. Team integration is also progressing according to plan."
The French entertainment and telecom conglomerate Vivendi posted adjusted net income of $845 million (665 million euro), down 2.9 percent from the year-ago period. Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) fell 7.3 percent to $1.77 billion (1.39 billion euros).
EBITA rose at video game maker Activision Blizzard and French pay TV firm Canal+, but fell sharply at Universal Music Group. It also dropped at all telecom assets except for a Brazilian operator.
Vivendi's revenue declined 1.6 percent to $8.48 billion (6.67 billion euros) as Activision Blizzard and Canal+ posted a gain, Universal Music Group recorded a gain that turned into a drop when assuming constant currency rates, and telecom results fell except for a Brazilian operator.
The group also increased its full-year forecast for adjusted profit.
Canal+ revenue was up for the first nine months of 2012, while EBITA was down slightly amid an increase in value-added tax. Financials from Canal+ foreign and non-pay TV activities grew, "notably thanks to solid performances of StudioCanal and the pay TV operations in Vietnam," Vivendi said.