Vivendi prepares for Canal Plus flotation
18 Feb 11 -

Majority shareholder Vivendi has revealed detailed information about Canal Plus’s 2010 performance ahead of the planned IPO of its 20% stake in the pay TV operator by Lagardère Group.

According to Vivendi, Canal Plus Group reported full year revenues of €4.712 billion for the year, up 3.5% on 2009. The operator’s total subscriber base reached 12.7 million at the end of the year, up 344,000 on 2009.

Canal Plus France accounted for €3.956 billion of the group’s revenues, up 3.1%, driven by subscription growth, increased ARPU and advertising sales. Canal Plus France’s subscriber base grew by 335,000 to cross the 11 million barrier by year-end.
Canal Plus Group’s EBITA for the year was €690 million, up 5.8%, driven by the French division’s activities.

Canal Plus France is currently present in about 6.2 million homes, with 41% of subscribers taking both the Canal Plus premium channel service and the CanalSat pay TV offering. CEO Bertrand Méheut this week told newspaper Les Echos that he believed the total number of homes in which the operator is present could rise to 11 million. Méheut said that Canal Plus’s ARPU had grown by €2.50 in two years to reach €46.30 a month.

Méheut also told the newspaper that he believed French league football rights were already too expensive and that it was necessary to take into account what subscribers were willing to pay when evaluating them. He also said that the group had not decided whether to use its “bonus” channel on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform to launch a pay or free-to-air channel.