L'Espresso's ad sales fall, sees improvement ahead

MILAN, April 16 Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:27am EDT

MILAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Italian publisher L'Espresso said on Wednesday an contraction in the domestic advertising market should ease in the second quarter of the year after reporting a 9.7 percent drop in ad sales in the first three months.

The company said it made a net profit in the first quarter of 2.1 million euros ($2.9 million), little changed from a year ago and helped by slightly improved profitability at its radio stations and cost cutting.

However, total revenue fell more than 13 percent to 157.8 million euros, with printed press advertising sales tumbling 14.6 percent. Bucking the trend, radio stations saw ad sales rise.

Net debt fell to 58.2 million euros as of March 31, from 73.5 million euros at the end of last year. ($1=0.7234 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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