PAPER CHASE: Magazine ad sales fell 11.2 percent in the first quarter at Lagardère Active, pulling revenues at the multimedia unit down 5.2 percent.
The “continued difficult situation in advertising” was partially offset by resilience in circulation, which slipped 1.1 percent, and fast growth in digital press operations, up 32.5 percent.
The Lagardère division that includes the weekly magazines Elle and Paris Match said revenues came to 211 million euros, or $232.7 million at average exchange rates, a 6.6 percent decline on a like-for-like basis. The French media giant said solid performances for radio advertising, TV channels and digital are “driving 2016 revenue.”
Across all media, advertising revenues dipped 1.3 percent. The company noted that the first quarter “has a relatively low impact on annual advertising revenues.”
Overall company sales rose 0.9 percent to 1.59 billion euros, or $1.75 billion, a 2 percent dip on a like-for-like basis. Lagardère trumpeted buoyancy in travel retail, sports and entertainment, while book publishing was weak due to a light release schedule for general literature in many key markets.