Emap shrugs off dip in jobs advertising

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The Independent Online

Emap warned yesterday of a downturn in recruitment advertising at its business magazines, while it said trading in its French business remained tough.

Emap warned yesterday of a downturn in recruitment advertising at its business magazines, while it said trading in its French business remained tough.

But the media group said it would meet City profit expectations of about £202m for the current financial year, which ends on 31 March. The company has interests in consumer magazines, business publications and radio. It described business-to-business ad revenues as "weak".

Emap shares closed down 10.5p to 847p as the trading update failed to excite investors. The stock had risen last week on speculation the group may beat forecasts.

A research note from Cazenove picked out as significant the trading statement's news on the radio market and in the French television listings magazines sector. The broker said: "There appears to have been some improvement in the UK radio market."

Emap described French news-stand sales as "weak". The company continues to be hit by competition from new rival titles. Some 10 per cent of Emap's group revenues used to come from its two TV weeklies in France - Tele Star and Tele Poche. In January 2004 Bertelsmann launched a fortnightly title, Tele 2 Semaines, with a cover price of €1 - roughly the same as consumers pay for the Emap weeklies - and later in the year it brought out a second fortnightly, knocking circulations for Tele Star and Tele Poche.

Cazenove said: "The main development recently for Emap is that with Prisma having raised the cover price of rival TV listings title Tele 2 Semaines, there is a real prospect now of stabilisation of circulation of Emap's titles in that market, or for the group to launch its own fortnightly.

"We would not expect the changed dynamic in the French market to filter through to trading until at least March, when the group is next scheduled to issue a trading statement (30 March)."

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