LONDON: Mecom, the European newspaper group founded by David Montgomery (pictured), controversial former ceo of Britain's Mirror Group Newspapers, saw its share dive by more than fifteen per cent Thursday.

The fall was triggered by the firm's announcement  that "more challenging conditions" had adversely affected H1 ad sales and pre-tax profits. 

The latter rose year-on-year to £42.0 million ($78.13m; €53.15m) from £17m, before accounting for exceptional items and amortisation of £61.4m, up from £41.3m in the first half of 2007.

These provisions toppled Mecom into the red to the tune of £20m – albeit an improvement on last year's £25m loss.

Mecom, which operates in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Poland, warned that performance through the rest of 2008 would be merely "stable".

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff