Vivendi earnings up 91.9 percent

World of Warcraft expansion pack leads games division to continued success; popular online role-playing game now has more than 9 million active subscribers.

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Vivendi has reported its first half of 2007 financials--with earnings figures up on last year, and the games division's profits soaring once again. Earnings before income and taxes for the whole group were up 10.6 percent to 2.6 billion euros (approx $3.5 billion) compared to the same period last year, net income increased by 10.7 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion), and revenues were up 6.4 percent to 10.2 billion euros ($13.9 billion).

Divisions which enjoyed particularly strong increases were Maroc Telecom, the Canal+ Group, and Vivendi Games. The games division's adjusted earnings before interest and taxes totalled 119 million euros ($162 million), a 91.9 percent increase over the first half of 2006 figures. This increase was mainly attributed to the launch of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft expansion pack The Burning Crusade on January 16. World of Warcraft now has a confirmed subscriber base of more than 9 million across the globe. Vivendi listed two other minor reasons for the earnings leap: a one-off increase from the company's profit-sharing and talent retention plan, and seasonal effects of Sierra Entertainment product releases.

The company confirmed it was on track for its full-year 2007 estimate of adjusted net income surpassing 2.7 billion euros ($3.7 billion).

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