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Vivendi profits boosted by mobile business

New mobile games unit established in France

French media group Vivendi has revealed its Q1 financial details, beating profit expectations thanks in part to a continued growth in its mobile telephony, games and multimedia content offerings.

Profit rose 41 per cent compared to the previous year, with net income reaching EURO 707 million, up over EURO 200 million on the same period last year. Sales at SFR, which is the second largest mobile phone network in France and 56 per cent owned by Vivendi, rose 3.4 per cent to EURO 2.14 billion following the securing of an additional 130,000 subscribers during the quarter.

Although the bulk of Vivendi's EURO 23 million games division earnings were once again attributed to the continuing global success of massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, the company is also making a determined move into mobile gaming and has recently established a new unit in France for the creation and worldwide sale of wireless games.

In a results conference call, Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy commented: "We may aim to become one of the leading mobile terminal game groups worldwide by harnessing our various knowhows we have developed across Vivendi Games and SFR."

The company established Vivendi Mobile in March, led by former I-play executive Paul Maglione, planning to launch at least a dozen games this year for the mobile platform, leveraging existing licenses and big brand franchises from its traditional videogames division in a similar fashion to industry behemoth Electronic Arts.

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