French radio group NRJ saw its shares slump 21.6% to E21.20 on the Paris bourse yesterday after issuing a profits warning. It would not meet net profit expectations, it cautioned, blaming this on the national slowdown in adspend.

In its half-year to March 31, group revenues rose 8% to E150 million ($1.32m) but despite this NRJ struck a somber note: "The quarter has witnessed a quasi-stagnation in April at the level of the French advertising market and could see a strong decline in May," it warned.

Analysts were caught on the hop by the announcement: “Radio, which had seemed at the start of this year to have been spared from the advertising slowdown, today appears to have been abandoned by advertisers,” said one.

NRJ, the owner of a number of leading French music radio stations, reaches some 30m listeners a week. France accounts for around two-thirds of its ad revenues, the residue coming from operations in Germany and Scandinavia – regions where it also warns the outlook is “uncertain”.

News source: Financial Times