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Vivendi Fourth-Quarter Revenues Rise Slightly

Vivendi reported a modest 1.2% rise in fourth-quarter revenue Wednesday as stronger results from video games helped make up for lower sales at its mobile unit SFR and music division Universal Music.

The French media and telecommunications company reported fourth-quarter revenues of 5.55 billion euros ($7.19 billion), up from 5.48 billion euros the previous year. The figure fell short of the 5.65 billion euros ($7.32 billion) average estimate by 10 analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

For the full year, revenue came in at 20.07 billion euros ($25.8 billion), up 2.9% from 19.48 billion euros in 2005, Vivendi said.

Fourth-quarter sales at SFR, Vivendi's mobile unit and a major contributor to revenue, dropped 1.4% to 2.18 billion euros ($2.83 billion).

Universal Music, the world's largest recorded music company by sales, posted a 1.5% drop in revenues to 1.66 billion euros ($2.15 billion).

Despite a boom in download sales over the Internet and mobile phones, the music market as a whole is shrinking as digital revenue growth fails to offset a decline in CD sales.

But sales at the video games unit jumped 33% to 326 million euros ($422.8 million), boosted by the success of its online role-playing game World of Warcraft.

Sales at the Maroc Telecom unit rose 4% to 499 million euros ($647 million) while television unit Canal Plus' sales rose 2.9% to 918 million euros ($1.19 billion).

Vivendi shares fell 1.8% to 31.67 euros ($41.08) in Paris.