Pre-tax H1 profits at magazine and commercial radio group Emap will be “well ahead” year-on-year, promised a statement issued by the group on Tuesday.

But Emap stressed it remained circumspect about advertising prospects because of “the uncertain political and economic environment across its two core territories in the UK and France”.

Having shed its cash-haemorrhaging operations in the US, Emap’s health is now entirely dependent on these two markets. Its British consumer magazines were at the fore of a 5% group revenue increase, posting an underlying circulation revenue hike of 7% – and a 2% rise in ad revenues against a still-moribund advertising background.

Radio, however, is still feeling the effects of recession with ad sales revenues 7% down on the same period in 2001 – although local sales at Emap’s two networks Magic and Kiss outran national sales.

French newsstand circulation revenues sank 1% although ad revenues bucked the trend with a 2% rise. Nonetheless, Emap predicts a deceleration in a French advertising although magazine sales should hold up.

The group’s first half ends September 30 and its results are due to be published on November 12. In the interim, its upbeat statement sent the entrail-rakers scurrying to upgrade their previous guesswork, with a new profits consensus ranging between £81 million ($126.54m; €128.75m) and £83m compared with £70m last time. Full year pre-tax estimates were upped to £167m.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff