Presided by Gérald de Roquemaurel, Chairman and CEO, a meeting of the Board of Directors was held on March 21, 2000. The financial statements of Hachette Filipacchi Medias as well as the consolidated accounts were presented and approved.
For the year 1999, the Group, publishing over 200 magazines in 33 countries, generated consolidated revenues of FRF 15.3 billion (e 2.3 billion), a 15.6% increase over last year’s revenues of FRF 13.2 billion. At comparable scope and exchange rates, revenues are up 3.2 %. Excluding Rusconi and Fujin Gaho, operating income reached FRF 1,144 million, exceeding the target of FRF 1,100 million (e 168 million) set in 1998. 1999 operating income increased by 43.3% to FRF 1,251 million (e 191 million) from FRF 873 million. Net income of FRF 821 million (e 125 million) was up by 50.3% from FRF 546 million in 1998.
With the dollar and paper prices relatively stable, these results were mainly due to continued efforts to improve productivity, the growing strength of foreign subsidiaries’ earnings and a favorable advertising market. The Group was able to exploit advertising opportunities effectively thanks to marketing policies stressing its worldwide network and global package offers.
During the course of the year, Hachette Filipacchi Médias was able to refocus its business on magazine publishing thanks to significant acquisitions, on one hand, and disposals of non-core assets, on the other. The acquisition of Rusconi in Italy and Fujin Gaho in Japan contributed to the integration of its global network of magazines. Its stake in the US start-up Phase 2 Media helped consolidate its worldwide advertising media planning network for both print and web media. Negotiations are currently under way concerning the sale of its industrial division.
In 2000, Hachette Filipacchi Médias intends to speed the growth of its traditional businesses via acquisitions and product launches. Alongside the Lagardère group, it plans to participate in the emergence of new media businesses mainly by extending its existing brands and editorial content through the development of vertical Internet portals, merchandising, custom publishing etc. These initiatives will cover both written and visual media, in particular through the launch of an Internet portal with catalogs of photographs from the Group and photo agencies. Its other businesses, in particular its web advertising media planning agency, will also be involved.
At the next Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose the distribution of a dividend of FRF 4 per new share, i.e. adjusted for the 5-for-1 stock split on October 1, 1999, an increase of 21.2% over the previous year