DOWNWARD TREND: French media group Lagardère reported first-half sales grew 3.8 percent to 3.43 billion euros, or $3.83 billion.

Net sales at the firm’s multimedia division Lagardère Active were 436 million euros, or $486 million, down 0.5 percent compared with first-half 2015.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.

Lagardère magazine revenues in France fell 6.8 percent on a like-for-like basis. The country’s largest magazine publisher whose flagship titles include Elle and its international editions and Paris Match said this was due both to a sharp contraction in the print advertising market, which retreated 10.4 percent in the first half, despite “circulation proving resilient,” falling 2.1 percent.

Denis Olivennes, chief executive officer of Lagardère Active estimated the advertising market will be down 4 percent this year, during a conference call on Thursday evening.

Lagardère, the publisher of the “Fifty Shades” saga in France, benefited from the commercial success of the paperback releases in the country of “Grey” by E.L. James and of “After” by Anna Todd.

In other Lagardère Active news, the division recently tapped Hervé Gattegno as editorial director of Journal Du Dimanche, effective late August. He was editor in chief at Vanity Fair France in charge of investigation.

The division also announced earlier this month the launch in September of a new TV channel called Elle Girl as part of the Canal network, which will be inspired by the values of the magazine.

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