Back to top

Quarterly Information – First Quarter of 2009


Corporate & other activities, Finance

Paris, May 13, 2009

2009 objectives reiterated
Lagardère SCA 2009 first-quarter consolidated revenues:
down 2.0% on a reported basis and 2.6% on a like-for-like basis(*)

Lagardère SCA consolidated revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2009 totaled €1,778.1m, representing a fall limited to 2.0% on a reported basis and 2.6% on a like-for-like basis.

The difference between the fall in revenues on a reported basis and on a like-for-like basis is due to the €39m effect of changes in scope of consolidation (primarily, full consolidation of WSG from January 1, 2009), partially offset by unfavorable exchange rate effects of €30m (fall in sterling and some Eastern European currencies against the euro, partially canceled out by the rise in the U.S. Dollar).

Key trends during the first quarter of 2009 on a like-for-like basis were:

Lagardère Publishing – Double-digit sales growth driven mainly by the success of Stephenie Meyer books, not only in the United States but also in France, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Lagardère Active – Very sharp drop in revenues of 17.5%. Advertising revenues fell by more than 20%, with a double-digit decline in virtually all regions. In Radio, the drop in revenues was less marked but nonetheless substantial outside France, not helped by a tough comparative.
Lagardère Services – Marked fall in revenues in press distribution; slowdown in retail, but softened by the opening of new sales outlets.
Lagardère Sports – Increase in revenues thanks to the impact of the Handball World Cup and qualifiers for the 2010 Football World Cup.


Revenues (€m)


Q1 2009

Q1 2008

Q1 2009/
Q1 2008

Q1 2009/
Q1 2008




(2.0 %)

(2.6 %)

Lagardère Publishing



12.0 %

14.1 %

Lagardère Active



(18.3 %)

(17.5 %)




(19.5 %)

 (19.6 %)




(13.9 %)


Lagardère Services 



(4.2 %)

(3.4 %)

Lagardère Sports 



40.3 % 

7.9 %

Lagardère Publishing

2009 first-quarter revenues were €463m, up by 12.0% on a reported basis and by an exceptionally good growth rate of 14.1% on a like-for-like basis. There was a marked acceleration in the pace of growth relative to the fourth quarter of 2008 (5.8% on a like-for-like basis), though the 2009 first-quarter figure was helped by a flattering comparative (revenue growth of 2.4% in Q1 2008, versus 4.7% over the full year).

Exchange rate movements had a negative effect of €9m, with a 20% rise in the average rate of the euro against sterling (18% of revenues) partly offset by a 13% fall against the U.S. Dollar (20% of revenues).

Thanks to the Stephenie Meyer saga (Breaking Dawn, New Moon, Twilight and Eclipse), which has sold over 18 million copies worldwide since the start of 2009, Lagardère Publishing outperformed the market not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom and France. The success of The Shack (by William P. Young) and non-fiction titles such as Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers had a favorable effect on sales in the United States.

France saw a mixed first quarter, with a slight decline in General Literature but good results in Illustrated Books.

Education sales were less buoyant than in the first quarter of 2008, both in France and Spain.

Partworks, which are more sensitive to economic conditions than Books, recorded a drop in sales in all markets except Germany and Italy.

Lagardère Active

Lagardère Active revenues fell by 17.5% on a like-for-like basis and by 18.3% on a reported basis to €399m. Overall, the rate of contraction in advertising revenues accelerated relative to the fourth quarter of 2008, both in international markets and in France. However, the decline was less marked in France than internationally, in both Magazines and Radio. Television activities reported growth, both in DTT and in production.

Digital activities accounted for 7.1% of Lagardère Active first-quarter revenues (versus 6.2% in 2008), and are in line with the objective of 5%-10% of revenues in 2009. In France, Lagardère Active is the no.2 media group in audience terms, with 15.5m unique visitors.


First-quarter revenues from the Magazines business were down by 19.5% on a reported basis and by 19.6% on a like-for-like basis, at €310m.

Trends in advertising for the quarter show a clear deterioration:

  • Decline of nearly 15% for Magazine Publishing France, which had proved relatively resilient throughout 2008.
  • Acceleration in the rate of contraction for Magazine Publishing International, which increased to around 30% over the first quarter of 2009. The biggest falls were in the United States, Russia (on a tough comparative), and above all Spain. All geographical regions saw revenues contract over the quarter.

Press circulation also experienced a sharp downturn in the first quarter, with sales down by nearly 8% on a same-titles basis, though the picture varied from region to region. The bankruptcy of the Anderson distribution company hit sales in the United States, while sales in Spain fell by nearly 20%. On the other hand, the decline was much less severe in the United Kingdom and France.


Broadcast activities reported 2009 first-quarter revenues of €89m, down by 13.9% on a reported basis and by 9.5% on a like-for-like basis.

  • Radio
    In France, revenues fell by 11%. Europe 1 resisted slightly better, thanks to a steady rise in its audience figures since September 2008. Revenues for International Radio activities shrank by more than 20% on particularly tough comparatives in Russia and Poland.
  • Television
    DTT advertising revenues continued to show strong growth. In addition, TV Production posted a 6% rise thanks to buoyant sales of drama series and the favorable competitive position of Lagardère Entertainment with broadcasters.

Lagardère Services

2009 first-quarter revenues at Lagardère Services fell by 3.4% on a like-for-like basis and by 4.2% on a reported basis, to €782m. Exchange rates had a negative effect of €20m, largely because the euro rose by an average of 26% against the Polish zloty and of 13% against the Hungarian forint.

Retail (two-thirds of Lagardère Services revenues) held steady, while press distribution saw revenues fall by some 10%.

  • After achieving revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2008, Aélia experienced a slight fall in the first quarter of 2009, with a more marked decline in March. Sales at Relay France were virtually unchanged despite a contraction in the print media market and in air traffic. Aélia was the main beneficiary of extensions to the store network.
  • Growth remained very strong in retail operations in Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic, driven by the expansion of store networks. By contrast, sales were down in Hungary and especially Spain. Sales were lackluster in other regions.
  • Distribution activities recorded a contraction in revenues. In the United States, Curtis was hit by the bankruptcy of wholesaler Anderson. Revenues were sharply down in Spain, but the decline was less marked in Belgium and Hungary.

Lagardère Sports

Lagardère Sports reported 2009 first-quarter revenues of €134m, up by 40.3% on a reported basis and by 7.9% on a like-for-like basis.

Much of the difference between reported-basis and like-for-like growth was due to the €33m impact of the full consolidation of WSG from January 1, 2009. As a result of the change to the shareholders’ agreement between Lagardère Sports and its minority partners, the Group can now account for WSG by the full consolidation method. Lagardère Sports owns 70% of WSG.

The timing of sporting events, especially the World Handball Cup and qualifiers for the 2010 Football World Cup led to revenue growth. On the downside, the lack of any matches in the African Cup of Nations football tournament had a negative effect on 2009 first-quarter revenues.

Given the structure of the division’s contracts (rights acquisition or agent’s commission) and the timing of sporting events, the revenue streams of Lagardère Sports are highly volatile from one quarter to the next.

II – Significant events affecting the financial position and results of Lagardère SCA

  • Recurring EBIT before associates
    • Recurring EBIT before associates is expected to show a decline in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period of the previous year. This is because the decline in revenues at Lagardère Active has been only partially offset by the cost-cutting measures outlined in March 2009. As regards our other activities, while Lagardère Publishing is significantly ahead of budget for the first quarter, the situation is less favorable at Lagardère Services, which is below its profit targets. Finally, Lagardère Sports is achieving growth in line with its targets.
    • The contribution from EADS is being recognized in “Income from associates” based on a 10.0% interest through March 2009. This percentage will be reduced by approximately 2.5% over the rest of the year, following the delivery of the final tranche of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (exchangeable for EADS shares) to Natixis on March 24, 2009.
    • Non-recurring items will mainly comprise the gain arising on the sale of 2.5% of EADS.
  • Net interest expense

    The reduction in net interest expense reflects the effect of the redemption of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds, combined with the impact of lower interest rates.

  • Net debt

    The drop in the Group’s net debt as of March 31, 2009 is due to the redemption of the third and final tranche of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds (€664m).

  • Main events during the first quarter of 2009

    Arnaud Lagardère to head up the Lagardère Group for a further six years

    At its meeting of March 11, 2009, the Supervisory Board ratified the decision of the general partners to reappoint Arnaud Lagardère as Managing Partner for a further six-year term from March 26, 2009.

    Early delivery of the third tranche of shares in redemption of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds

    Lagardère SCA and Natixis agreed to bring forward from June 25, 2009 to March 24, 2009 the date for delivery of the third and final tranche of EADS N.V. shares in redemption of the Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds issued by Lagardère SCA en 2006.

III – Outlook

For Lagardère Active, the start of the second quarter of 2009 has confirmed the lack of visibility in advertising, making it impossible at this stage to set objectives for the full year. However:

  • Each 1% loss of revenue has a negative impact of between €8m and €10m on recurring EBIT before associates over a full year before any cost savings, on top of which comes the knock-on effect of rises in some operating costs (approximately €35m) and the cost of continuing with our initiatives to prepare for the future (approximately €10m).
  • Cost savings arising from measures already taken and from the additional measures announced in March 2009 (One Step Further plan) are expected to have a positive impact of €90m in 2009. The One Step Further cost-cutting plan was on target at end March 2009.

For other activities, the objective for the year-on-year change in recurring EBIT before associates is in a range from zero growth to a fall of no more than 10%, as announced in March 2009.

  • While Lagardère Publishing is ahead of budget for the first three months of the year, comparatives will be much less favorable in the second half.
  • Lagardère Services experienced a more difficult start to the year than expected, with a contraction in the print media market adversely affecting profitability in both distribution and retail activities.
  • First-quarter trends at Lagardère Sports were in line with the division’s full-year objectives. The division will also benefit from the full consolidation of WSG. This new factor is expected to result in the division achieving growth in recurring EBIT before associates over the full year.

(*) Excluding changes in Group structure and the effect of exchange rates

Press Contacts

Thierry Funck-Brentano - tel. +33 (0)1 40 69 16 34 -

Ramzi Khiroun - tel. +33 (0)1 40 69 16 33 -

Investor Relations Contact

Virginie Banet - tel. +33 (0)1 40 69 18 02 -

Lagardère is a pure media group (books, press, broadcast, digital, travel retail and press distribution, sports trading and sports rights), and is among the world leaders in the sector.
It also owns a 7.5% stake in EADS, after the disposal in March 2009 of a 2.5% stake via the redemption of the final tranche of Mandatory Exchangeable Bonds.

Lagardère shares are listed on Euronext Paris.

Important Notice:
Certain statements contained in this document do not relate to known historical facts but rather represent projections, estimates and other forward-looking data based upon the opinion of management. These statements reflect opinions and assumptions prevailing as of the date on which they were made. They are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause future results, performances or events to differ significantly from those indicated in or implied by these statements.
You should refer to the most recent French-language "Document de référence" filed by Lagardère SCA with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers to obtain further information about these factors, risks and uncertainties. An English version of this document is available by clicking the "Reference Document" link on the Investor Relations page of the Lagardère corporate website..

Lagardère SCA has no intention and is under no obligation to update or modify the aforementioned forward-looking statements. Consequently, Lagardère SCA accepts no liability for any consequences arising from any use that may be made of these statements.

Email alert

To receive institutional press releases from the Lagardère group, please complete the following fields: