France’s M6 reports revenue drop

Consolidated revenues fall 3.3%

PARIS — M6, France’s second biggest private net, saw consolidated revenues fall 3.3% year-on-year to E327.3 ($508.3 million) in the first quarter of 2008, below analysts’ predictions.

However, despite a generally downbeat French advertising market, advertising sales rose 3% to$287.3 million.

Of these, M6 advertising sales were down 0.5% at $256 million, while advertising revenues from digital channels, diversification and audiovisual rights surged 46% to$31.1 million.

Non-advertising sales slumped 10.5% to $221 million.

The French broadcaster said the banking, retail and publishing sectors had cut back on commercials but the food, beverage, transport and telco companies had spent slightly more.

M6 executive chairman Nicolas de Tavernost described the market as difficult.

“We were flat in April and we don’t have much visibility for the rest of the year,” Tavernost told the M6 annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

M6 shares on the Paris stock exchange have dropped 41% in 12 months while shares in rival TF1 have fallen 45% over the same period.