NEGATIVE TREND: French media group Lagardère reported a 12.5 percent drop in sales in the first quarter to 1.58 billion euros, or $2.1 billion. “The economic backdrop proved uncertain, particularly in Europe,” France’s largest magazine publisher said in a statement, also citing “pressure on the advertising market and slackness in consumption.”

 

Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the period. Net sales at the firm’s multimedia division Lagardère Active were 207 million euros, or $276 million, down 50 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011. The decrease stood at 5.3 percent on a like-for-like basis. The variation is mainly due to the sale of its international magazine business, whose titles included Elle’s foreign editions.

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The group cited a negative trend in the advertising market at the beginning of this year, both in France and in Eastern Europe, as well as a continued erosion of magazine circulation.

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