A?lia revenues fall slightly in first half

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Lagardere SCA yesterday reported a 2.2% drop in first-half revenue to E.3.72bn ($5.27bn) blaming depressed sales in press and broadcasting division, although significantly its retail activities remained steady with only a slight fall in A?lia's

revenues, despite an extension of the travel retailer's store network.

At the same time, its Lagard?re Services division's revenues were down 2.6% on a like-for-like basis and 3.7% on a reported basis, at E.1,619m ($1.9bn). The company says that the fall was less marked than at the end of March 2009 despite an unfavourable comparison due to strong Q2 2008 revenues (6.4% like-for-like, vs. 5.2% in Q1 2008). It adds that a negative foreign exchange effect of E.40m ($57m) was largely due to rises in the average rate of the euro against the Polish zloty (28%) and the Hungarian forint (15%).

The company said: ‘Despite the extension of the store network, A?lia still saw a slight fall in revenues over the first six months of the year, hit by the drop in air travel. Relay France sales were flat after a slight upturn in the second quarter. Though the print media market remained in decline, it seemed less depressed at the mid-point of the year.

‘Retail operations in Romania recorded double-digit growth driven by the expansion of store networks, while sales fell in Hungary. In Spain, though the market continued to contract, the trend was more favourable in the 2009 second quarter than the first. Sales in Belgium and Germany were slightly up in the first half.’

Lagardere has widely diverse interests in magazines, book publishing, airport stores, sports rights and marketing.

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