In an economic environment reflecting a very difficult advertising market in the first half but gradually improving in the second half, in the United States in particular, Lagardère Media revenue grew strongly as a result of the quality of its media activities e.g., strong leading positions, solid global presence and a well balanced portfolio of cyclical and non cyclical businesses. In addition, on a comparable basis, all of the operating divisions reported an improvement during the fiscal year except for the press business which nevertheless posted a marked improvement in Q4.
Total LAGARDERE SCA consolidated revenue was flat (-0.6%).
|| Revenues (M€)
on a comparable basis (*)
| LAGARDERE MEDIA
| LAGARDERE excl. EADS
| LAGARDERE SCA
(*) excluding changes in group structure and the effect of exchange rates
NA: Not Available
Excluding changes in group structure, “Lagardère Media” sales grew by 6.7%. Excluding as well, the effects of exchange rates, the revenue climbed by 7.8% for the full year 2002 versus 7.3% for the first nine months of 2002, 6.7% in the first half of 2002 and 6.2% in the first quarter of 2002. On an unadjusted basis, Lagardère Media revenues grew by 5.6%.
- Despite a retail distribution activity that remains effected by the drop-off in airport passenger traffic, Hachette Distribution Services recorded a double-digit growth rate in sales. This performance reflects strong internal growth resulting from significant gains in new concessions, new distribution contracts as well as several new “Virgin Megastore” openings since November 2001 (Montpellier, Nice, Toulouse, Nantes, Melun-Sénart, Paris Barbès).
“Virgin” is consolidated since August 1st, 2001.
- The Book division (Hachette Livre) experienced an internal growth rate above 3% again during the fiscal year 2002 as a result of a very good fourth quarter for nearly all the publishing segments in France as well as in the U.K.
Hachette Livre is, in particular, benefiting from the contribution of the English editor “Octopus” acquired last autumn and consolidated since January 1st, 2002.
- On a comparable basis, Lagardere Active recorded a significant increase in 2002 sales. This performance comes, essentially, from the growth experienced since the third quarter that accelerated in the fourth quarter for all of the Lagardere Active business segments, in particular Radio and TV. In terms of advertising activity, the Radio business continues to be effected by low visibility.
On an unadjusted basis, the published sales for the prior exercise include the period from October 2000 to December 2001 for Lagardere Active Broadcast while on a comparable basis, the period from January to December 2001 was used
“Matra Automobile” sales declined by more than 31%.
The Espace minivan production was phased out in October 2002. In addition to that, the Espace experienced, for the months before, a significant erosion of its market share that is typical for a model that has reached the end of its cycle.
Launched at the end of 2001, the new Avantime vehicle has not enjoyed the anticipated commercial success. Volumes delivered in 2002 are materially below expectations -including for the second half despite the entire product range being on the market .
Revenue for the “EADS” line represents 15.10% of EADS sales.
In accordance with the French accounting standards used by Lagardère SCA, when hedging against exchange rate fluctuations, sales generated in foreign currencies are converted at a rate determined by the hedging instrument (rather than the current exchange rate).
Full year 2002 EADS revenue was in line with its target of reaching a level close to 2001. The slight decline came, as expected, from the Airbus branch which sold 303 aircrafts versus 325 the year before.