Vivendi Universal has reported a 59% plunge in third-quarter revenues as its asset disposal programme takes its toll.

The media mammoth posted Q3 sales of €5.90 billion ($6.8bn; £4.1bn), down from €14.55bn in the same quarter last year. However, this was still above analysts' expectations.

Debt-beset Vivendi has sold off a number of operations in the last twelve months, including the Vivendi Universal Publishing group and the 40% stake in utilities firm Veolia Environnement.

Excluding acquisitions and disposals, revenues slipped 7% in Q3, and when currency fluctuations are also factored out the decline was just 2%.

Of the group's media assets, French pay-TV firm Canal Plus posted a 17% sales slide to €969 million, while US unit Vivendi Universal Entertainment – soon to be merged with America's NBC – recorded a marginal increase to €1.31bn.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff