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Vivendi: The Good Results for 2020 Confirm the Resilience of the Group's Main Businesses

03/03/2021 | 02:19pm

Regulatory News:

Vivendi (Paris:VIV):

 2020 KEY FIGURES                                          % change year-on 
 (in millions of euros)                   % change year-    -year at constant 
                                          on-year           currency and 
 Revenues                   EUR16,090 M   +1.2%             -0.6% 
 EBITA(3,4)                 EUR1,627 M    +6.6%             +3.7% 
 EBIT(4)                    EUR1,468 M    +6.3% 
Earnings before provision 
for income taxes(1)         EUR2,182 M    +47.7% 

This press release contains audited consolidated financial figures established under IFRS, which were approved by Vivendi's Management Board on March 1, 2021, reviewed by the Vivendi Audit Committee on March 1, 2021, and by Vivendi's Supervisory Board on March 3, 2021 under the chairmanship of Yannick Bolloré.

In 2020, revenues were EUR16,090 million, up 1.2%. This increase mainly resulted from the growth of Universal Music Group (UMG), Canal+ Group(2) and Editis(2) , partially offset by the slowdown in other activities, mainly Havas Group and Vivendi Village, all of which were affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At constant currency and perimeter(2) , revenues were almost stable (-0.6%) compared to 2019.

Following good growth in the first quarter of 2020 (+4.4% at constant currency and perimeter(2) ) and a decline in the second quarter (-7.9%), Vivendi's revenues recovered in the third (+0.7%) and fourth (+0.7%) quarters.

For the second half of 2020, at constant currency and perimeter(2) , revenues slightly increased (+0.7%) compared to the second half of 2019 and compared to a decrease of 2.0% for the first half of 2020.

EBITA was EUR1,627 million, an increase of 6.6% compared to 2019. At constant currency and perimeter(2) , EBITA increased by 3.7%, primarily driven by the growth of UMG and Canal+ Group.

EBIT was EUR1,468 million, an increase of 6.3% compared to 2019.

Other financial charges and income were a net income of EUR589 million, compared to a net income of EUR65 million in 2019. In 2020, the revaluation of the investments in Spotify and Tencent Music Entertainment was a net gain of EUR591 million, compared to EUR139 million in 2019. In addition, in 2020, Vivendi received an additional payment of EUR56 million for the sale of GVT in 2015, following the favorable settlement of a tax litigation in Brazil.

On March 31, 2020, the sale of 10% of UMG's share capital to a Tencent-led consortium was recorded, in accordance with IFRS standards, as a sale of non-controlling interests and therefore has not impacted the Consolidated Financial Statement of Earnings. As a result, in accordance with IFRS 10, the capital gain on the sale of 10% of UMG's share capital was directly recorded as an increase in equity attributable to Vivendi SE shareowners for EUR2,385 million.

Provision for income taxes reported to net income was a net charge of EUR575 million, compared to a net income of EUR140 million in 2019. Excluding the current tax income of EUR473 million resulting from the aforementioned favorable decision of the French Council of State (Conseil d'État) in 2019 regarding the use of foreign tax receivables upon the group's exit from the Global Profit Tax System), provision for income taxes reported to net income increased by EUR242 million in 2020.

Earnings attributable to non-controlling interests were EUR167 million, compared to EUR34 million in 2019. This increase of EUR133 million primarily reflected the Tencent-led consortium's share of Universal Music Group's net earnings as from March 31, 2020.

Earnings before provision for income taxes which allows the best comparison versus the 2019 earnings(1) , amounted to a profit of EUR2,182 million, an increase of 47.7%.

Earnings attributable to Vivendi SE shareowners amounted to a profit of EUR1,440 million (or EUR1.26 per share - basic), compared to EUR1,583 million in 2019 (or EUR1.28 per share - basic). In 2019, excluding the current tax income of EUR473 million regarding the use of foreign tax receivables upon the exit from the Global Profit Tax System, earnings attributable to Vivendi SE shareowners increased by 29.7%.

Adjusted net income was a profit of EUR1,228 million (or EUR1,08 per share - basic), compared to EUR1,741 million in 2019 (or EUR1.41 per share - basic), a decrease of 29.5%. In 2019, it included the current tax income of EUR473 million regarding the use of foreign tax receivables upon the exit from the Global Profit Tax System.

As of December 30, 2020, Vivendi's Financial Net Debt increased by EUR889 million to EUR4,953 million.

If the contemplated distribution of 60% of UMG's share capital, which is expected to involve the repayment by UMG of the loan granted by Vivendi, were to occur, and taking into account the EUR2.8 billion in cash received from the sale of an additional 10% of UMG's share capital to the Tencent- led consortium, the Vivendi Group's pro-forma net debt would amount to EUR0.3 billion, based on the balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.

Vivendi has significant financing capacity. As of December 31, 2020, EUR3.3 billion of the group's committed credit facilities were available.

As of December 31, 2020, the average "economic" term of the group's financial debt, calculated based on the assumption that the available medium-term credit lines may be used to redeem the group's shortest term borrowings, was 4.8 years (compared to 5.3 years as of December 31, 2019).

As Vivendi's consolidated equity amounted to EUR16.431 billion, the Group's net debt-to-equity (gearing) ratio was 30% as of December 31, 2020.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is having a more significant impact on certain countries or businesses than others, in 2020, Vivendi has demonstrated resilience in adapting its activities to continue to best serve and entertain its customers, while reducing costs to preserve its margins. The business activities showed good resilience, in particular music and pay television. However, as previously mentioned, the other businesses such as Havas Group and Vivendi Village (in particular live entertainment) were affected by the pandemic's effects. Editis has enjoyed a strong rebound in its businesses in France since June 2020.

Vivendi continually monitors the current and potential consequences of the crisis. It is difficult at this time to determine how it will impact Vivendi's results in 2021. Businesses related to advertising and live performance have a risk of being more impacted than others. Nevertheless, the Group remains confident in the resilience of its main businesses. It continues to make every effort to ensure the continuity of its activities, as well as to best serve and entertain its customers and audiences while complying with the guidelines of authorities in each country where it operates.

Planned distribution of 60% of UMG's share capital to Vivendi's shareowners

For a number of years, Vivendi's leading institutional shareholders have been pressing for a split or the distribution of Universal Music Group (UMG) to reduce Vivendi's conglomerate discount.

Prior to considering a favorable response to this request, the Management Board wished to obtain a fair value for UMG to better serve the interests of its shareholders and therefore support the fulfillment of its development plan to become a global leader in content, media and communications.

The Chairman of the Management Board set a minimum target of EUR30 billion for UMG's enterprise value. The acquisition by the Tencent-led consortium of a 20% stake in UMG's share capital, completed between March 2020 and January 2021 on the basis of this valuation, as well as interests expressed by other investors at potentially higher prices, have now enabled the Management Board to consider a distribution in kind of 60% of UMG's share capital to Vivendi shareholders.

This distribution, exclusively in kind, would take the form of an exceptional distribution ("special dividend"). The listing of UMG's shares, issued by its holding company, would be applied for on the regulated market of Euronext NV in Amsterdam, in a country that has been one of UMG's historical homes.

A Vivendi Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting will be called for March 29, 2021, to modify the company's by-laws and make the principle of this distribution in kind possible and pursue this project. Subject to a favorable shareholder vote, a Shareholders' Meeting could be called before the end of 2021 to vote on this distribution of UMG shares.

Prisma Media

On December 23, 2020, Vivendi entered into a put option agreement for 100% of Prisma Media. Prisma Media is the leading French press group in the sector, in print and digital, with twenty essential flagship brands of the magazine press, from Femme Actuelle to GEO, via Capital, Gala, Télé Loisirs, and more.

In accordance with applicable regulations, the contemplated acquisition remains subject to the information and consultation process with Prisma Media's employee representative bodies, the authorization from the relevant competition authorities as well as the finalization of legal documentation.


On January 25, 2021, Vivendi announced that it owned 9.9% of Prisa's share capital. Prisa, which owns El Pais, Santillana, Cadena SER, Radio Caracol, AS and Los 40 Principales, is the leader in media and education in the Spanish-speaking world.

The acquisition of a stake in Prisa is part of Vivendi's strategy to strengthen its position as a global content, media and communications group and to expand its access to Spanish-speaking markets in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Returns to shareholders

Since January 1, 2020, Vivendi has repurchased 96,52 million of its own shares (i.e., 8.14% of its share capital), representing EUR2.35 billion, including 23.02 million shares under the previous buyback program and

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03-03-21 1419ET

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