Grazia launch boosts Emap profits

Emap has reported a £223 million pre-tax profit, up nine per cent from last year as it prepares to sell off its French division.

In its report for the financial year ending 31 March, the group cited the strong launch of Grazia for its consumer section performance, up three per cent in underlying revenues or seven per cent including launches.

The company spent £25 million on launches, with £8 million each on Grazia and the French edition of Closer, and major international investment in the Australian version of Zoo.

The sale of Emap's French division, which the company said was "initiated and on track", is expected to be completed by September.

Initial bids are reported to have reached more than £440 million, above analysts' expectations for the division, which had suffered in the competitive TV listings market in France.

The next round of bidding is on 31 May with Italian media groups Mondadori and RCS Media — along with Gruner+Jahr, part of the German company Bertelsmann — thought to be in the running.

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