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Vivendi Universal profits boosted by World of Warcraft

Vivendi Universal has posted its third quarter financial results, beating analyst expectations thanks to a doubling of revenues from its games division, fuelled by the success of World of Warcraft.

Vivendi Universal has posted its third quarter financial results, beating analyst expectations thanks to a doubling of revenues from its games division, fuelled by the success of Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

For the three month period ending 30th September, the French media and telecommunications group posted revenues of 4.87 billion Euro, an increase of 8 percent on the same period in 2004. Analyst forecasts had placed the revenues for the period at 4.77 billion Euro; lower than the company's actual revenue results.

Attributing the better than expected results to a strong telecommunications performance, the company also noted that its dedicated games division, Vivendi Universal Games, had made a substantial contribution, posting revenues of 158 million Euro; an increase of 151 percent at constant currency. The results for the first nine months showed an increase of 88 percent on the same period in 2004.

The company has stated that its subscription-based MMO title, World of Warcraft has been the main driver behind the games division's revenue increases, though strong sales of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, FlatOut and movie license Robots have all shown 'strong' sales.

The company also stated that its sales for the first nine months of the year were aided by a continuing strong performance for 2003 title The Simpsons: Hit and Run. In spite of the phenomenal continuing sales for this single title, publishing giant Electronic Arts announced earlier this week that it had secured the rights, which Vivendi previously held, to create a series of videogames based on the cult Fox TV show, The Simpsons.

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