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By | May 23, 2001

      Vivendi Universal’s Canal Satellite has posted a net profit of FFr114.8 million (E17.5 million) on sales of FFr3.87 billion for the financial year 2000. It was the first time the unit had been in the black since its launch in 1996.

      According to managing director Thierry Schluck, the French digital package should post ‘double-digit’ sales growth in 2001, with net income also showing “very significant growth”. Canal Satellite currently has a 60 per cent share of the digital market, registering 1.65 million subscribers at the end of 2000 and projecting more than 2 million by the end of 2002.

      Interactive revenues, including betting on horse racing and PPV movies, reached FFr700 million in 2000, with some FFr300 million coming from PPV. Although the interactive figure is expected to reach FFr800 million by the end of the year, Schluck did not disclose the proportion that will go to Canal Satellite.

      Canal Satellite is likely to expand the range of channels and interactive services it offers this autumn, its plans including a link with Vizzavi, Vivendi’s multi-access portal, which will enable subscribers to send text messages to mobile phones and be alerted of new messages via their TV. Work on a music download service is also under way but waiting for the next generation of decoders.

      Although Schluck was able to confirm that new channels are on the way he did not disclose whether they include the planned Lagardere service, which is based around the magazine Paris Match.

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