UPDATE 1-Springer sees lower 2009 profit in tough ad market
* Gives no precise outlook but won't match 2008 results
* Aims to increase market share
* Has untapped credit lines of 1.095 bln eur
(adds detail, background)
FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) - German publisher Axel Springer AG (SPRGn.DE) is prepared for a tough 2009 amid a difficult advertising business and said it will not match 2008 results this year.
The Berlin-based company, publisher of Europe's best-selling tabloid Bild, said in a statement on Wednesday it expects the 2009 ad business to be "extremely difficult", making a precise outlook impossible but that it will not be able to reach the record results of 2008 in the current environment.
Springer said however it was confident that it will win market share.
Net debt fell to 369.5 million euros by the end of the year from 743.1 million euros.
It has has untapped short-term and long-term credit lines worth 1.095 billion euros, the company said.
Last month, Springer reported a 2008 core profit of 486.2 million euros compared with 470 million euros ($596.3 million) in 2007. Revenue rose 5.8 percent to 2.73 billion euros.
It has also said it plans to propose a dividend of 4.40 euros per share, increasing the payout by 0.40 euros.
Springer's controlling shareholder is the Axel Springer society, with 51.5 percent.
(Reporting by Nicola Leske)
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