JCDecaux profits fall

11 March 2009

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France: JCDecaux, the outdoor advertising company, posted profits of €108 million ($137m; £99m) last year, down from €221m in 2007, and warned that its underlying sales could decline for the first time.

Outdoor is predicted to be one of the more stable mediums as advertisers cut budgets, though revenues are still expected to fall in most major markets.

JCDecaux's earnings before interest and tax dropped from €350.2m to €236.4m, including a €70.9m impairment charge linked to the falling value of its assets in the advertising slowdown.

It has also predicted that organic revenues will slow for the first time in its history this year, with the first quarter likely to yield a slide of around 10% after a "particularly strong" Q1 last year.

While chairman and co-ceo Jean-Charles Decaux did not offer forecasts for 2009 as a whole, he did say that "comparables to 2008 may improve given the weaker second-half last year."

JCDecaux's underlying sales actually rose by 6.3% in 2008, boosted in particular by the company's transport division, but net profit excluding "exceptional items" fell by 16.7% to €184.2m.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff