Universal Music Group Q1 Revenue Up 9.1%, Credits Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Gotye, Van Halen Releases

Screen shot of Vivendi's First Quarter 2012 Results Apendix III.

Universal Music Group revenues increased 9.1% to €961 million ($1.28 billion at the March 31 exchange rate) in the first quarter of 2012 (6.7% at constant currency). Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) grew 47% (43.8% at constant currency) to €68 million ($90.8 million).

Warner Music Group Revenue Slipped 8% in Q1

Parent company Vivendi attributed revenue growth to a strong release schedule - Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Van Halen, Gotye, Lana Del Rey and Germany's Unheilig - and credited "continued focus on cost management" for the improvement in EBITA. Digital accounted for 39.8% of recorded music revenues.

Revenues at parent company Vivendi dropped 0.9% to €7.1 billion and adjusted net income was down 13.4% to €823 million. The revenues of game developer Activision Blizzard dropped 15.7% while Canal+ Group's revenue rose 3.4%.

Chief financial officer Philippe Capron told analysts on Tuesday's conference call that Universal's acquisition of EMI Music's recorded music division is "on track" and "in phase two" in both Europe and the U.S.

In regards to criticism about the deal, Capron said complaints about the merger "[come] mostly from our competitors, not really from either customers or the various partners in the value-added chain of the music industry." He added the company is "very confident" regulators will allow the merger to move forward, although he did not qualify that statement by noting if concessions would need to be made.

The earnings release mentioned the acquisition only by saying the deal "remains subject to the approvals of the relevant regulatory authorities."

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