Following weeks of uncertainty over its financial health – blasted last week by ceo Jean-Marie Messier as “unfair” [WAMN: 07-Feb-02] – Vivendi Universal has beaten expectations for its full-year sales.

The media mammoth posted total revenues of E57.4 billion ($50.3bn) for last year, around E1bn ahead of forecasts. Pro forma sales (which assume Vivendi owned the same companies in 2001 and 2000) rose from E53.05bn to E58.19bn.

Vivendi’s media and communications division posted a 9% rise in pro forma revenues to 28.9bn. A year ago the group predicted 10%, a figure attained if the purchase of Universal Film is ignored.

“Our 2001 results give us confidence that we can achieve our growth targets again in 2002,” the company stated, adding that it plans to increase revenues by “at least 10%” this year.

The news reversed the downward spiral of its stock, sending it up slightly after a fall of around 24% since the start of January.

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