Vivendi Universal Reports First Half 2002 Results
Source: 
Vivendi Universal

- Net income was a loss of 12.3 billion euros, representing negative 11.32 euros per basic share, for the first half of 2002
- A goodwill impairment charge of approximately 11 billion euros plus financial provisions of 3.4 billion euros were recorded at June 30, 2002.
- Net income excluding goodwill amortization and non-recurring items, was a 66 million euros loss, or negative 0.06 euros per basic share in the first half of 2002 compared with positive 0.27 euros earnings per basic share in the 2001 period
- Consolidated revenue grew 8% to 30.6 billion euros and operating income increased 8% to 2.4 billion euros in the first half on a comparable basis, including Vivendi Environnement.
- At June 30, 2002, French GAAP debt (calculated as gross debt minus cash & cash equivalents) was approximately 35 billion euros (including Vivendi Environnement)
- The company is committed to raising at least 10 billion euros through asset sales during the next two years, 5 billion euros of which will be completed during the next 9 months.

Vivendi Universal announced unaudited preliminary financial results for the first half of 2002. In doing so, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Rene Fourtou commented as follows:

Comments by Jean-Rene Fourtou, Chairman, CEO

"My primary objective is to create as much value for shareholders as possible by focusing on three priorities. First, reducing debt. Second, improving the profitability of the businesses. Third, determining a long-term strategy for Vivendi Universal: this process is well advanced and the Board will decide on the long-term strategy at the September 25th Board meeting.

"Vivendi Universal has around 10 billion euros of debt above the comfortable level allowed by a triple-B rating, assuming no access to the cash flow of Cegetel. We must decrease debt by at least this amount as soon as possible, by:

- Selling businesses. We are committed to selling assets for a minimum amount of 10 billion euros in the two years to come, 5 billion euros of which will be completed during the next 9 months.
- Cutting the cash drain of the company, mainly the non-French activities of the Canal+ Group, the Internet activities and the huge level of corporate overhead; and,
- Enhancing the cash flows of the ongoing businesses.

"In the short term, due to the structure of our debt, Vivendi Universal is facing a liquidity problem despite the value of our assets. On July 10, Vivendi obtained a new bank facility of 1 billion euros. This new money has not yet been used. As announced in July, we are presently negotiating a new facility of 3 billion euros, which will include the first 1 billion euros. Vivendi Universal reached a framework for agreement, and we expect this new facility to be signed soon.

"We welcome today the arrival of Jean Bernard Levy as COO of Vivendi Universal, who will help me implement numerous projects, challenge management and better monitor the different businesses of the group. My management principles include strong corporate governance, communications transparency, teamwork, and challenging the operating management.

"Despite good progress in revenue and operating income growth in the first half, Vivendi Universal's net income before exceptional items and amortization of goodwill is a loss of 0.06 euros per share. With the decisions already taken regarding Canal+, the Internet businesses, overhead reductions and the disposal of non-core assets, Vivendi Universal's EPS (earnings per share) should increase significantly.

"This company has extraordinarily strong international assets. I am totally committed to restoring a stable financial situation and enhancing profitability. I am confident we shall be successful. "

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