Prisa profits surge amid talks with Le Monde

18th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, Feb 18 (AFP) - Spanish media group Prisa, which is in talks to increase cooperation with leading French daily newspaper Le Monde, reported on Friday that its net profit surged by 70.4 percent in 2004.

MADRID, Feb 18 (AFP) - Spanish media group Prisa, which is in talks to increase cooperation with leading French daily newspaper Le Monde, reported on Friday that its net profit surged by 70.4 percent in 2004.

Prisa, which owns the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais and has a small stake in Le Monde, said that profits for the full-year increased to EUR 103.25 million (USD 134.89 million) on sales which rose by 9.3 percent to EUR 1.42 billion.

The profit figure exceeded analysts' forecasts.

Prisa attributed the increase in its profits to an 11-percent rise in advertising revenues, an increase in magazine and newspaper sales of 4.6 percent, and the success of new promotional materials, such as DVDs and encyclopaedias.

Sales by El Pais increased by 33.3 percent during the year to EUR 397.45 million. Operating profits rose 51.1 percent, owing to increased advertising and promotion revenues.

A Prisa spokeswoman had said on Thursday that the company was in talks to strengthen its relationship with Le Monde, but declined to comment on reports that it might increase its stake in the French newspaper group.

"We are in contact with Le Monde to increase our collaboration from an editorial and commercial point-of-view," the spokesperson told AFP, adding that Prisa currently held 0.8 percent of the holding company controlling Le Monde.

Le Monde, widely regarded as the main newspaper of record in France, announced in November that it was looking for an investor to inject around EUR 50 million in the company, and sources close to the company said at the time that the Italian group Rizzoli and El Pais would be approached.

The French newspaper industry in general is going through a period of financial strain and restructuring.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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