PRINTED MATTER: Lagardère’s multimedia division, Lagardère Active, restrained fourth-quarter revenues at the French media group, despite an improved trend in advertising sales and magazines.
Net revenues at Lagardère Active, which includes the weekly magazines Elle and Paris Match, slipped 10.6 percent on a like-for-like basis to 319 million euros, or $349.5 million at the average exchange rate. Its advertising sales grew 1.3 percent.
Magazine sales were down 1.4 percent, reflecting a 0.5 percent dip in advertising revenues and a 2.1 percent decline in circulation (versus a 6.2 percent drop in the nine months ended Sept. 30). Also in the fourth quarter, digital sales rose sharply, by 32.6 percent.
TV activities plummeted, due to an unfavorable delivery schedule. On the other hand, radio logged a positive quarter.
Overall company net sales in the three-month period grew 3.5 percent to 2.04 billion euros, or $2.44 billion, with Lagardère trumpeting strong activity in travel retail despite the impact of the November attacks in France. The group said that effect was offset by a sustained increase in all other geographic areas and a strong publishing activity tied to the success of “Asterix and the Missing Scroll” plus literary prizes in France and a bumper crop of bestsellers, including “See Me” by Nicholas Sparks in the U.S. during fourth quarter of 2015.