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Consumer magazines help Emap boost profits by 9%

LONDON - Emap has seen pre-tax profits rise by 9% to £94m for the first half of the year, as the consumer magazine division performed well but with sales still depressed at its television stations.

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The media company reported a rise in turnover of 7% to £509m for the six months ending September 30, with advertising in the US, France and UK consumer magazines described as reasonable, while business-to-business recruitment advertising in the UK was soft.

Two of the company's new launches, Closer and FHM US, were performing well, with Closer ahead of expectations and FHM set to break even by the end of the financial year. Heat also continued to perform well, along with Empire and Max Power magazines.

However, the music titles did not experience the same boost, with advertising depressed, although Mojo, Q and Smash Hits all recorded circulation increases against a total music market fall of 20%.

In the business-to-business division, display advertising is showing some sign of recovery, with a 5% rise in revenue after two years of decline. Emap said that Drapers Record and Retail Week had performed well, but that there were shortfalls in recruitment advertising at Nursing Times and Local Government Chronicle.

Advertising revenue at Emap's radio stations, which include Magic FM and Kiss 100, rose by 8% for the period, with national advertising being the key driver behind growth. However, television did not perform as well, with soft airtime ad sales leading slump in revenues of 13% for the first half.

Tom Moloney, chief executive of Emap, said: "Although the trading environment has not noticeably improved, Emap has again made good progress in the first half of its financial year. The core business is performing well and has the potential to perform even better. Our new-product development initiatives and recent acquisitions are well on track and we remain confident of meeting our targets for the full year."

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