ON THE UP: Lagardère’s stock rose strongly Friday on news that it expects improved second-half profitability and maintained its recurring media earnings before interest and taxes target.
By 4:05 p.m. CET, France’s largest magazine publisher’s stock increased 4.2 percent to 22.50 euros, or $28.33 at current exchange, on the Paris Bourse.
On Thursday, Lagardère had cited a negative trend in the advertising market, as well as ongoing erosion of magazine circulation. It reported a 9 percent drop in sales in the first half to 3.39 billion euros, or $4.36 billion at average exchange rates.
Net sales at the firm’s multimedia division Lagardère Active were 450 million euros, or $579.7 million, down 44.2 percent compared with the first half of 2011. The decrease stood at 3.7 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. Advertising revenues fell by 6.9 percent over the period, with magazine revenues in France down 4.9 percent.
“The second half of the year should benefit from a significant improvement in profitability after a first half performance that cannot be extrapolated to the full year,” the group said in a statement, pointing out that the first half of the year is traditionally weaker.