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Family business roundup: Results and acquisitions

Remy Cointreau saw sales drop after a long run of steady growth, while L'Oreal and ABF had steady growth. In North America Hubbard Radio acquired 10 stations but Quebecor closed 11 newspaper titles.

Remy Cointreau saw sales drop after a long run of steady growth, while L'Oreal and ABF had steady growth. In North America Hubbard Radio acquired 10 stations but Quebecor closed 11 newspaper titles.

Remy Cointreau
Family-controlled French spirits group Remy Cointreau has seen its sales drop 2.3%, like-for-like, to €263.7 million in the three months ended June 30.

The company said it expects sales in China to remain adversely affected in the next quarter, ending September 30, due to measures introduced by President Xi Jinping, following his recent election, to reduce conspicuous spending on gifts and feasts by officials.

China is one of the distillers’ key markets, accounting for 40% of sales in Asia.

Conversely, the company saw double-digit growth in the US and stable results in Europe due to strong sales in the UK and Russia.

Hubbard Radio
Family-owned media company Hubbard Radio, based in Minnesota, has agreed to buy 10 stations from Sandusky Radio – ending the family firm’s 36-year history as a radio broadcasting company. Both companies were named after their founding families.

The $85.5 million (€65.2 million) deal, announced this week, still requires regulatory approval.

Sandusky Newspapers, based in Ohio, said the sale would allow it to concentrate on the digital transformation of its print titles.

Hubbard Radio owns radio and television stations in a number of US cities and states, including Chicago, Washington D.C. and upstate New York.

L'Oreal
The Bettencourt family's toiletries and cosmetics company L'Oreal reported steady growth for the six-month period ended 2013, with revenues increasing 4.7% to €11.7 billion – with €5.8 billion generated in the second quarter.

Non-family chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said: "Although market growth has been slightly slowing down, L'Oreal continued to demonstrate its good dynamics and recorded a solid first half. Each division and zone is outperforming the market."

Quebecor
In a bid to cut costs Sun Media – a subsidiary of the Peladeau family's telecommunications company Quebecor – is closing 11 of its newspapers.

The closures will cost 360 jobs, and are expected to save the company CAD$55 million (€40.3 million) annually. It is the second time in a year Sun Media has been forced to make redundancies – it cut 500 jobs in November.

Sun Media said falling advertising revenue forced the closures, and was working on strengthening its digital news platforms.
The company now has 36 paid newspapers, 192 community newspapers and three free dailies.

Associated British Foods
Food, groceries and fashion group Associated British Foods, controlled by the Weston family, reported a 9% revenue increase for the nine-month period ended 22 June 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Despite the media backlash against the company's involvement in the Rana Plaza disaster, sales at ABF's budget brand increased 22% for the year to date and were the driving force behind the overall growth figure. 

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