Vivendi Universal today released provisional third quarter results for 2002.

The company said its revenues had increased 9% to Euros 44.5bn across all businesses for the first nine months of 2002.

However, revenues for its media assets in the third quarter were down to Euros 7.4bn, a 4% drop, year-on-year from 2001. The decrease was attributed to a shrunken film release slate as sell as reduced music sales.

On a positive note, Vivendi Universal's telephony division Cegetel saw growth of 9% to Euros 1.8bn.

Vivendi Universal announced late last week that it would sell off half of its 40% stake in its utility arm - the water and waste business: Vivendi Environment. The sale of Vivendi Environment, which formed the base of the company's original portfolio, is a radical move by newly-installed chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou (pictured) to stem the company's cash crisis incurred over the past two years and to regain the support of its banks.

Fourtou is now considering whether or not to increase Vivendi Universal's stake in Cegetel, the company's most successful division.

Vivendi Universal has been trying to raise some Euros 4bn in order to gain the upper hand in control of Cegetel, which British telecoms giant Vodafone has been trying to take over by offering to buy out stakes held by Vivendi, BT and SBC Communications.

Vivendi Universal expects to reach its Euros 12bn asset sale target by the end of 2003.