The success of artists U2 and Scissor Sisters helped Vivendi Universal beat first half profit forecasts and raise its target for the year. Vivendi's music business Universal Music Group performed stro

The success of artists U2 and Scissor Sisters helped Vivendi Universal beat first half profit forecasts and raise its target for the year.

The French telecoms and media group, which has been going from strength to strength over the past 18 months, said on Tuesday (Sept. 13) it would generate 2005 adjusted net earnings above its pre-announced target of €1.8 billion ($2.2 billion).

Vivendi's music business Universal Music Group performed strongly, generating a first-half operating profit of €142 million ($174 million) -- beating a €91 million ($111 million) poll estimate.

The Paris-based group lifted its first-half operating profit by 34% to €1.994 billion ($2.45 billion), above an average forecast of €1.855 billion ($2.27 billion) in a Reuters poll of 11 analysts, and up 31% on a comparable basis against last year.

Vivendi reported net income of €1.26 billion ($1.5 billion). The outcome was flattered by lower debt costs and tax charges after the group adopted the consolidated global profit tax system.

Its shares, which before the interim results had risen nearly 11% since the start of the year, were up 0.81% at €26.26 ($32) by 10.23 GMT.

-- Reuters