RCS keeps core profit guidance as cost cuts offset flat revs

MILAN, July 31 Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:04am EDT

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MILAN, July 31 (Reuters) - Italian publisher RCS Mediagroup cut its first-half net loss to 70 million euros as it continued to trim costs in the face of shrinking sales.

In a statement it said it forecast broadly flat revenues for the full year compared to a previous outlook saying it expected a slight rise.

But RCS confirmed a forecast for a tripling of core earnings before one-off items thanks to larger-than-expected savings in 2014.

The full-year loss is expected to be lower than in 2013, it said.

The publisher of Italy's leading daily Corriere della Sera said it had agreed to renegotiate its bank debt and this would help it save 1.6 million euros a year in interest payments.

RCS warned it may not be able meet its full-year debt reduction target but the level would still be in line with conditions outlined in the covenant agreement signed with creditor banks as part of the debt renegotiation.

The group had net debt of 518 million euros at the end of June, up from 474 million euros at the end of 2013.

RCS said earlier on Thursday Corriere's long-standing editor-in-chief Ferruccio de Bortoli would leave the paper in the spring of 2015. (Reporting by Valentina Za)

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