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Family business roundup: Profits down at Bouygues and Antofagasta, L’Oreal earnings flat, Barnes & Noble narrows losses

Family businesses Bouygues and Antofagasta saw half-yearly profits fall this week, while cosmetics giant L’Oreal missed analyst earnings estimates for the same period. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble managed to narrow losses for its fiscal first quarter.

Family businesses Bouygues and Antofagasta saw half-yearly profits fall this week, while cosmetics giant L’Oreal missed analyst earnings estimates for the same period. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble managed to narrow losses for its fiscal first quarter.

Net profit at French conglomerate Bouygues declined 29% to €278 million, after sales at its mobile phone arm were sharply hit by popular new competitor Iliad. This prompted the group, controlled by the eponymous family, to lower Bouygues Telecom’s annual profit forecast on 28 August by 12% to €900 million from €1.02 billion.

However, the group raised its full-year sales forecast to €32.8 billion, on the strength of new acquisitions. Revenues for the conglomerate, which also operates in the construction and television broadcasting sectors, rose 2% in the first six months of the year, to €15.5 billion.

Meanwhile, L’Oreal posted a 10.5% increase in revenues to €11.21 billion for the first six months of the year. The world’s largest cosmetics-maker, controlled by the Bettencourt family, likewise saw operating profit grow by 11.4% to €1.9 billion. However, gross profit as a percentage of sales was down from 71.5% to 71% for the same period, lower than most analysts estimated.

Chilean mining company Antofagasta, controlled by the Luksic family, reported a 7.2% decrease in half-yearly net profits to $646.1 million (€514.4 million), due to falling copper prices and higher exploration costs from its Esperanza mine. Revenues, however, increased 3.5% for the first six months of the year, to $3.16 billion from $3.05 billion in 2011.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble saw its consolidated revenues for its fiscal 2013 first quarter increase by 2.5% to $1.5 billion (€1.19 billion) from $1.41 billion during the same period last year. EBITDA for the quarter ending 28 July was $4 million, compared to a loss of $24 million a year ago. The company reported a consolidated net loss of $41 million, a 28% decline on the previous year. 

Non-family chief executive William Lynch, in a 21 August statement, credited the narrower losses on strong digital content sales as well as sales of the racy Fifty Shades of Grey series. Barnes & Noble is controlled by the Riggio family.

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