VNU up on disposals, acquisitions

Media group's profit per share declines

AMSTERDAM — Dutch media group VNU has posted a net profit of 1 billion euros ($870 million) for 2001, up 25% on the back of asset sales.

Sales for the year were up 43% to $4.24 billion, buoyed by acquisitions. Last year, VNU – which publishes Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter – bought TV ratings research company ACNielsen Corp for $2.3 billion.

Profit before acquisition costs and exceptional items was up 2% to $365 million.

Profit per share was down 3% to $1.51. VNU said it expected profit per share to fall 10% in the first half of 2002.

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