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Zoo and Closer lead Emap revenues up despite French troubles

LONDON - Emap has seen group revenues rise by 2% year on year, with its struggling French magazines business counterbalancing decent performance in its UK magazines, radio, TV and especially business-to-business divisions.

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According to a trading statement released today, revenues at Emap France were down 7% due to the TV listings magazines being undercut and the advertising market weakening. Newsstand revenues from Tele Star and Tele Poche were down 25% over the year, leading to a 19% fall in advertising revenue.

However, subscription revenues were only down 1%, and the automotive division did well. Emap claims that newsstand sales of the TV listings magazines levelled out several months ago.

In the UK, the consumer magazine business grew revenues by 6%. The launch of Zoo, in January 2004, led copy sales revenues to grow by an extra 4% on top of the underlying growth rate of 5%, putting total growth at 9%.

Consumer magazine advertising was up 6%, with Closer an exceptional performer and the music and teenage titles straggling behind. The extra yield from Zoo accounted for 2% of the 6% growth figure.

At the Emap Performance television and radio business, revenues grew by 3%. Radio advertising revenues increased 2% thanks to a very strong fourth quarter, while TV advertising revenues were boosted 11% by Emap's new airtime sales contract with Sky, which now includes The Hits on Freeview.

The growth in TV advertising revenues is continuing into this year, while in radio Emap expects to continue outperforming the market.

B2B division Emap Communications saw a growth rate of 10%. Display advertising grew across the magazine portfolio, up 8%, although the second half of the year saw recruitment advertising fall 2%.

Revenue from trade exhibitions such as The Spring Fair, The Autumn Fair, Glee and Pure, increased by 10%. Emap acquired the Cannes International Advertising Festival just after the 2004 event, so it has not yet contributed to revenues. According to Emap, forward bookings for exhibitions are excellent.

Emap's underlying revenues, excluding the effects of currency movements, acquisitions and launches like Zoo, were up by 1%.

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