Lagardère, the parent company of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., finally broke its silence Thursday and waved off rumors that it plans to imminently off-load certain titles to another U.S. company. Speculation has been rife recently that the French group was in talks with Hearst Corp. about some sort of deal involving Hachette’s U.S. titles, which include Elle. The deal was even said to possibly involve Hearst and Hachette linking up on a global basis.
During a conference call to present its first-half results, Lagardère executives confirmed the group had received “some interest from companies” and was obviously studying offers “because it’s our role,” but said there is, “no specific plan and no decision to really sell the magazines in the U.S. and…other countries outside of France.”
Lagardère increased its 2010 guidance earnings, citing an upturn in the advertising market. For the first half, sales slid 2.7 percent to 3.72 billion euros, or $4.95 billion, while net income jumped 20 percent to 97 million euros, or $129 million. Dollar figures are calculated at average exchange rates for the periods.