Universal Music Group's EBITA for the full year 2008 increased 11.6% at constant currency rates to €686 million ($863.4 million). The figure represents a 9.9% increase in actual currency.

UMG's revenues in 2008 were €4.65 billion ($5.85 billion), a slight 0.2% decline at constant currency rates, or a 4.5% decline in actual currency. Digital sales increased 31% at constant currency rates, although the actual amount was not published in the results.

Best sellers of the year included the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack, Duffy's "Rockferry" and Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter III."

However, the earnings report states that there was a decrease in recorded music sales - a 4.8% drop at constant currency, 8.8% in actual currency. The recorded music sales figure - which was not revealed - was countered by increased revenues in music publishing, artist services and merchandising.

The earnings are revealed in the results for parent company, the French media conglomerate Vivendi, which increased EBITA 5.6% at constant currency (4.9% at actual currency) to €4.95 billion ($6.23 billion). Revenues rose 18.3% at constant currency rate (17.2% actual currency) to €25.39 billion ($31.96 billion).

Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, said in a statement: "We reached the goals that we set in the beginning of 2008. Despite an unstable environment, our business units' operating performances were excellent."

Vivendi reported a net loss of €1.38 billion ($1.74 billion) in fourth quarter earnings after writing down its 20% stake in the NBC Universal joint venture with General Electric Co. by €1.5 billion ($1.88 billion). However, fourth quarter EBITA was up 39.9% on the prior year's quarter to €1.105 billion ($1.39 billion).

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