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Vivendi books higher profits despite slump

ENTERTAINMENT giant Vivendi yesterday said consumers were staying at home in the recession, boosting sales of its pay-TV packages and video games, and helping it to report expectation-beating profits for its second quarter.<br /><br />The Paris-listed firm, which makes smash hit video games such as Guitar Hero, also said its French telecoms business was performing well, although record label Universal Music Group weighed on profits.<br /><br />Group net profit for the three months to the end of June was up 6.6 per cent to &euro;711m (&pound;626m) from &euro;667m last year, on revenues that jumped 11 per cent to &euro;6.65bn.<br /><br />Chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said that the firm&rsquo;s subscription-based television group Canal Plus booked a surge in profits after attracting new customers and cutting costs.<br /><br />Meanwhile, the firm&rsquo;s French telecoms business gained market share thanks to the launch of the latest Apple iPhone.<br /><br />But record label Universal Music Group, which counts Amy Winehouse among its signings, saw profits tumble as piracy continues to take its toll on music sales.