City&FinanceBriefing 34 Tuesday, 1 September 2009 London Lite Vivendi is on track to hit targets VIVENDI, the French-based media company which owns the worlds largest video games business, the Canal+ satellite broadcaster and Universal Music, has benefited from recession-hit consumers staying at home rather than going out for entertainment. The group is successfully weath- ering the current economic slow- down which is having a real but limited impact, said chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy. Our businesses are young and enjoy substantial growth opportunities due to the digital revolution. Vivendi owns 55% of the recently merged Activision Blizzard which publishes the Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk series of video games. It had two of the top-five selling games in the US and Europe during the first half of 2009. In the run-up to Christmas it will have one of its strongest ever release sched- ules, including Infinity Wards Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, Band Hero and Tony Hawk: Ride. At Universal Music revenues fell less than 2%, which is much better than the industry average. Lady Gagas debut album was among the best sellers with new releases from U2, Eminem and Black Eyed Peas all doing well. Mobile operator SFR increased its market share in France, but revenues barely changed as roaming charges and call volumes fell as the recession bit. Satellite broadcaster Canal+ saw strong growth in its overseas terri- tories, particularly in French-speak- ing African countries. Group revenues rose 17% to 13.2 billion (11.6 billion) with after-tax profits up 1% at 1.47 billion. Levi said that he still expects Vivendi to hit its targets for the year with strong earnings growth in the second half. Best-selling artist: Lady Gaga WEST End private equity firm Index Ventures is among the investors set to buy internet telephony company Skype from online auction specialist eBay today, insiders have revealed. The deal is tipped to include Andreessen Horowitz, a new venture capital group led by Marc Andreessen, who was a co-founder of Netscape, the first commercial internet browser. The American private equity group Silver Lake Partners is also thought to be involved alongside Index, according to the New York Times. In the past eBay has put a $2 billion price tag on Skype, which is expected to rake in more than $600 million in revenue this year. eBay bought Skype from founders Niklas Zennstrm and Janus Friis in 2005. Best-selling artist: Lady Gaga West End firm to buy Skype BY NICK GOODWAY Australia Dollars 1.8369 Canada Dollars 1.6869 Denmark Kroner 8.0485 Eurozone Euro 1.0847 Hong Kong Dollars 11.9800 Japan Yen 145.6200 New Zealand Dollars 2.2090 South Africa Rand 11.8600 Sweden Kronor 11.0600 Switzerland Francs 1.6477 UAE Dirham 5.6105 United States Dollars 1.5545 TOURIST RATES CASHMERE supplier Dawson International saw demand slump in the recession but is optimistic it will benefit from an economic recovery. Dawson said turnover in the first half of the year fell to 24.1 million from 28.2 million a year earlier, with losses up from 1.8 to 2.9 million. THE owner of Battersea Power Station wants a partner to help fund the 4billion redevelopment as it battles to overcome its 1.62 billion debt. Real Estate Opportunities is looking for fresh investment although finance director Peter Byers said it was too early to comment on what sort of partner the project could attract. DOWN 68.33 at 4840.57 FTSE 100 DOW JONES NIKKEI -$ DOWN 47.92 at 9496.28 UP 37.53 at 10,530.06 DOWN 0.25 at $1.6261 >>For all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. Not all stocks are available totrackon index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html