By Olivier Sorgho and Valentine Baldassari
(Reuters) – French media company Vivendi on Thursday reported third quarter revenue growth of 0.6% at constant exchange rates and on a like-for-like basis, and confirmed it was still planning to spin-off its publishing business Editis.
“For Editis, the full project has been now sent to the antitrust commission, we should receive the completeness in the coming days, weeks, and we still have the project to fulfil the listing of the company during the first half of 2023,’ finance chief Francois Laroze told analysts in a call.
Under the plan, Vivendi’s top investor Vincent Bollore would sell all Editis shares he would receive after the transaction, which would consist of a simultaneous distribution of the publishing unit’s shares to Vivendi shareholders and its listing.
Vivendi added in the call it will discuss with a potential investor who could buy between 20 and 30% of Editis. Vivendi wants to sell Editis to secure the takeover of French media group Lagardere.
“We can’t be more precise today,” Laroze added in the call.
Vivendi’s sales totaled 2.58 billion euros ($2.54 billion) in the third quarter, against 2.48 billion euros in the same quarter last year.
Sales at advertising business Havas came in at 665 million euros ($653.10 million), up 12.7% on a reported basis, or 3.2% at constant currencies and like-for-like.
Vivendi added however that growth at Havas was offset by a slowdown in its pay-TV unit Canal+.
Canal+ revenues in the quarter dropped 4.9% at constant currencies and like-for-like, to 1.42 billion euros.
The group added it was confident for the remainder of the year, despite macroeconomic and geopolitical turbulence.
(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho and Valentine Baldassari; Editing by Susan Fenton and Alistair Bell)