NEGATIVE TREND: French media group Lagardère reported a 1 percent drop in sales in the third quarter to 1.96 billion euros, or $2.45 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 222 million euros, or $277.8 million, down 17 percent compared with the third quarter of 2011. The decrease stood at 11.5 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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In the first nine months of the year, Lagardère Active net sales were 672 million euros, or $861.5 million, down 37.5 percent compared with the same period last year.

France’s largest magazine publisher cited a sharp contraction in the advertising market, down 7.4 percent in the first nine months of the year, and 8.6 percent in the third quarter. However, the group trumpeted that it is showing greater resilience in circulation than the market as a whole, with the women’s high-end segment, mainly Elle, holding up well, advertisers reacting favorably to its overhaul of Be magazine, now a monthly.