News International is Europe’s most profitable media company, according to the latest edition of Media Map Monitor, the annual report which ranks Europe’s largest media players by turnover.
Europe’s largest media company remains German giant Bertelsmann (latest media-only turnover $8.69bn, or Ãº5.72bn) while ARD, Havas, Fininvest and Reed Elsevier retain their top five positions from last year.
The BBC has moved up one place to sixth during the past year ($3.42bn, Ãº2.28bn), replacing Matra Hachette and, according to Media Map, the corporation is likely to reap further benefits from its alliance with Pearson, which has moved up three places to ninth.
Firms with combined TV and newspaper interest fared well, with NI ($1.24bn, Ãº815m) the most profitable – its 1994 pre-tax profits were nearly 50 per cent of its turnover, the report says.
“This shows just how much of a cushion Murdoch was sitting on when he launched the quality newspaper market price war,” says Rob Kendrew, Media Map project manager. “It’s a reflection of the cash that is finally coming out of satellite TV.”
The impact of the recent rise in newsprint prices and of declining newsprint stock is yet to be reflected in figures on which the ranking is based.
Both United Newspapers and Associated – each with burgeoning cable TV interests – show robust margins.