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Family business roundup: Lagardere, News Corp, Henkel and Richemont results

Lagardere reports sales are down, while News Corp, Henkel and Richemont all saw net profits rise for the third quarter – despite currency fluctuations hitting revenues.

Lagardere reports sales are down, while News Corp, Henkel and Richemont all saw net profits rise for the third quarter – despite currency fluctuations hitting revenues.

Lagardere
French publishing, media and travel group Lagardere, controlled by the eponymous family, said sales were down 2.9% to €1.9 billion for the third quarter of 2013, and revenues for the first nine months of the year fell by 1.1% to €5.3 billion.

It said it saw mixed performances from each of its business segments. Travel, general literature and radio posted good results, while slower demand for educational books, unfavourable exchange rates and declining ad sales in print media brought the company's total revenue figure down.

News Corp
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp reported a 3% dip in revenues to $2.1 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 – it's the first time the company has published results since it was separated from the broadcasting arm of the business, 21st Century Fox, earlier this year.

Non-family chief executive Robert Thomson blamed declining ad revenue, falling sales at its Australian titles and currency fluctuations for the drop. Despite this, net income still increased to $38 million compared to a loss of $83 million in the same period in fiscal.

Henkel
In Germany, family-controlled consumer goods group Henkel reported a 2.6% drop in third-quarter revenues to €4.2 billion compared to the same period last year, while revenues for last nine months remained level at €12.5 billion.

Net income for the quarter, however, was up 16.7% to €469 million, and up 10.8% to €1.3 billion for the first nine months of 2013.

Henkel, currently chaired by fifth-gen Simone Bagel-Trah, said the revenue drop was due to weak currencies, and said sales would otherwise have increased by 4.2%.

Richemont
Switzerland-based luxury goods group Richemont, which owns brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and Montblanc, saw strong growth in the first half of fiscal 2013.

Sales at the company, which is controlled by the Rupert family, grew by 4% to €5.3 billion, while net profit was up by 10% to €1.2 billion.

The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 40% of revenue, although Richemont said demand in mainland China was starting to slow.

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