UK-headquartered radio and publishing giant Emap announced Tuesday it is is back on target to meet full-year earnings forecasts.

The group, which saw its French division slide alarmingly earlier this year under aggressive pressure from German rival Bertelsman, says turnover increased to £522 million ($1bn, €788m) in the six months to the end of September, up 2.55% from £509m. Underlying profits rose 2% to £96m.

The consumer media division performed well, with operating profit growing 17% to £34m.

But ceo Tim Moloney reserves his highest praise for Emap Communications, the group's business to business division, which he calls the "the hidden hero" and which saw operating profits rise 25% to £30m.

The Emap Performance division, whose stable includes London radio station Kiss FM, blames its poorer showing on a slump in national radio advertising.

And Moloney is coy about Emap's rumoured swoop on the Scottish Radio Holdings group, in which it holds a 27.8% share [WAMN: 26-Oct-2004], saying only: "We've always seen SRH as a strategic stake in a great company. We may look to consolidate but we may not."

Profits at the French division fell to £27m, down from £31m, but Moloney professes confidence that conditions there have stabilised.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff