Lagardere Media earnings down 1%

Share in EADS represented revs of $2.22 billion

PARIS — France’s Lagardere Media has posted a 1% dip in revenues to 3.86 billion euros ($4.42 billion) on total group revenues of $6.65 billion, down 10%, in the first half of 2003.

The group figure includes Lagardere’s 15% stake in the European aircraft maker EADS, which represented revs of $2.22 billion, and includes the deconsolidation of the Matra Automobile car division as of Jan. 1 this year.

Without the effects of the weak dollar, which hit Lagardere’s extensive Stateside magazine publishing interests — including titles like Elle and Car and Driver — and distribution activities, media revs would have risen 4%, the company said Tuesday.

Magazine publishing was also affected by “the caution of advertisers after the start of the war in Iraq and continuing uncertainty over the economic recovery,” Lagardere said.

In France, Lagardere’s TV businesses, which include production units and a handful of theme channels, saw double-digit growth, but actual figures were not released.

The hike was partially due to the mechanical effects of an increase in subscribers to the digital platform Canal Satellite, 34% owned by Lagardere.

The whole of Lagardere Active Broadcast, which includes TV, radio and publishing, saw a 6% increase in revs to $12.6 million.

Lagardere’s transformation from an industrial and armaments group to a pure media player is set for completion by 2005-06, when the company has said it will sell its stake in EADS.

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