Lagardere’s revs rise

Strongest growth in high tech sector

PARIS — French conglom Lagardere’s revenues for 2001 upped 12% to $11.7 billion against profits of $542 million up 7% from $511 million in 2000, co-chief executive Arnaud Lagardere announced Thursday.

Lagardere, son of group founder Jean-Luc Lagardere, said strongest growth was in the high technology sector, which includes the company’s Airbus division. Sector sales in 2001 were $3.9 billion up from $3.3 billion the previous year.

Lagardere Media, whose extensive interests include a 34% stake in Canalsatellite, cable station Match TV, pan-euro radio station Europe 1, Premiere, Paris Match and Elle magazines and the 16 French Virgin Megastores rose, saw revenues rise 6.5% to $6.7 billion last year, from $6.3 billion in 2000. Its presence in the U.S. dropped 2% but increased 4% in France.

Media sector, which publishes 165 magazines in 33 countries, was only slightly hit by the worldwide decline in ad sales in 2001. Press division posted sales of $2 billion, down from $2.1 in 2000. Division also recently launched Elle Girl in the US.

Lagardere fils said Lagardere Media’s business plan includes consolidation within France, European expansion and accelerated international development in the U.S. and Japan.

Digital radio and TV is a company priority, he added, noting he has filed five applications for digital terrestrial channels in France.

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