* Says Q1 EBITDA rises by 5.2 mln euros
* Advertising revenue falls 27 pct
* Circulation revenue falls 6 pct
* Shares rise as much as 6.4 pct in early trade
(Adds details, share movement, background)
April 24 European newspaper publisher Mecom
Group Plc said its first-quarter core profit rose as
cost-cutting efforts in Denmark and the Netherlands, its largest
markets, offset a fall in revenue.
Shares in the company rose as much as 6.4 percent in early
trade, making the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the
London Stock Exchange.
The company, which publishes regional newspapers such as De
Gelderlander and De Stentor in the Netherlands, said group core
earnings - or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) - rose by 5.2 million euros ($7.19
million) from a year earlier.
EBITDA in the Netherlands rose 5.5 million euros, while
there was a slight decline in core earnings in Denmark.
Mecom had an adjusted EBITDA of 87.9 million euros for 2013.
The company, which owns more than 250 newspapers and
magazines, and 200 websites, said total cost reduced by 17
percent. Costs fell 14 percent in the Netherlands and 20 percent
The publisher has been selling assets and cutting jobs and
costs to ease the impact of sliding advertising rates across all
The sale of assets helped Mecom cut about 91 million euros
of debt, leaving it owing 38 million euros at the end of 2013.
Mecom said on Thursday that it was still in talks to sell
Limburg Media Groep - its newspaper business in the Netherlands.
Like other publishers, Mecom has been struggling to retain
advertisers as readers flock to cheaper digital media.
Revenue in the quarter ended March 31 fell as advertising
revenue continued to decline in the Netherlands and Denmark.
Group advertising revenue fell 27 percent, it said.
Dutch advertising revenue fell 20 percent in the first
quarter, while advertising revenue in Denmark fell 38 percent.
Circulation revenue declined 6 percent.
The publisher expects full-year core earnings to be similar
to underlying pro-forma 2013 EBITDA of 74 million euros.
The company said in March that it had made a firm start to
2014, but continued to expect advertising revenue declines in
Shares in the company were trading up 3.1 percent at 133.25
pence at 0850 GMT.
($1 = 0.7231 Euros)
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore; Editing by