After reporting stronger than expected third quarter revenues, officials from French media and telecommunications company Vivendi Universal have, in keeping with traditional French business practices, reported details of the company’s third quarter profits.
The company as a whole saw a 35 percent drop in third quarter net profits to €647 million ($756m) for the three months to September 30th. Results from the previous year were helped by a €388 million ($453m) tax gain, which, if ignored, gives only a 17 percent drop.
The previously troubled game division, which the company had earlier been attempting to sell off, saw revenues increase by 88 percent to €158 million ($189m), thanks to the global success of Blizzard’s massively multiplayer role-playing game World of WarCraft. The game’s success has also had a positive effect on operating profits, which rose to €7 million ($8 million), from a loss of €32 million ($37m) at the same time last year.
The upturn in profits were also attributed to strong sales for The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and the North American success from distributing Novalogic’s Delta Force: Black Hawk Down and Empire Interactive's racing game FlatOut. The company claims that these improvements integrated increased product development costs linked to recently acquired studios such as Swordfish and Radical Entertainment.
Vivendi Universal as a whole is now maintaining its previous full year guidance of €1.88 billion ($2.2 billion) net profit, according to its official financial announcements.