Fall in TV production impacts Lagardère’s numbers

A sharp drop in TV production pushed down revenues for Lagardère Active, French conglomerate Lagardère’s media arm, in the fourth quarter of last year, which also saw declines in sales across the breadth of its activities.

TV production fell by 23.4% in the quarter. The company said that the year was atypical, with most production concentrated in the first nine months.

Lagardère Active’s digital activities also saw a significant drop in revenue during the quarter, falling by 8.6% on a like-for-like basis. The company attributed this to a drop in advertising sales and the impact on its LeGuide shopping guide, which it said has suffered from an offensive by Google, currently under investigation by the European Commission.

TV distribution revenues improved relatively during the quarter, dropping by 1% against a drop of 7% to the end of September, but advertising revenue dropped faster than previously, with an 8% decline.

Lagardère Active saw a 10.3% fall in revenues in the fourth quarter of last year on a like-for-like basis.

The unit contributed revenues of €996 million (US$1.4 billion) for the full year, down 1.9% on a gross basis and down 3.8% on a like-for-like basis, with the difference attributed to a €20 million boost from the acquisition of LeGuide in mid-2012.

Despite the fourth quarter impact of lower production revenues, the full-year decline was due principally to a 5.4% drop in magazine revenues.