DOWN IS THE NEW UP: French media group Lagardère reported sales grew 0.5 percent in the first half to 3.4 billion euros, or $4.42 billion. Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the period.

Net sales at the firm’s multimedia division Lagardère Active were 471 million euros, or $612.3 million, up 4 percent compared with the first half of 2012. The growth stood at 0.3 percent on a like-for-like basis. The variation is mainly due to the acquisitions last year of shopping Web site and BilletRé, an online box office.

This story first appeared in the August 30, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Sales were boosted by the strong growth in audiovisual production activities, while magazine revenues in France fell by 5.6 percent.

France’s largest magazine publisher cited both a sharp contraction in the print advertising market, down 8.8 percent in the first half, and a decline in circulation, down 7.6 percent.

However, the group trumpeted that its magazines such as Elle and Elle Décoration gained market share. It is launching Elle in Australia on Sept. 23, citing a promising advertising potential, and men’s magazine Elle Man in France on Oct. 3.

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