Vivendi Universal reported that revenues from the core businesses of Vivendi Universal Publishing rose 4% for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002, to 608 million euros ($541 million). In the publishing and education division, revenues increased 6%. Sales in the U.S. were led by Houghton Mifflin's college unit plus Kids Interactive as well as continued strong sales of the J.R.R. Tolkien books.

The company said it had no plans for a major acquisition this year and that its focus will be on reducing debt, integrating its recent acquisitions and finding more synergies to promote internal revenue growth.

To reinforce Vivendi's commitment to internal growth, company chairman Jean-Marie Messier promoted Agnes Touraine and Philippe Germond to the post of senior executive vice-president. Touraine, chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal Publishing, will now also be in charge of content for Europe. In her new role, Touraine will be responsible for implementing synergies between the company's different businesses and countries, and will also coordinate international developments, except for the U.S.

Messier had been under pressure from shareholders to delegate more authority to senior executives.