The Belgium-French group Media Participations is the largest comic book publisher in Europe with roughly 1,000 overall new titles per year including 600 bandes dessinées (comics) and annual sales of 25 million volumes including 15 million comic books. The company achieved modest growth in 2013 from previously acquired stocks as well as strategic in-house digital developments.
Média Participation's principal brands are the comic book publishers Dargaud, Dupuis, Le Lombard, Urban Comics and Kana (manga); Citel Video, Dargaud-Marina, Ellipsanime, Dupuis Audiovisuel and Anuman Interactive; children’s book publisher Fleurus; and religion publisher Mame. Cartoon brands include Blake et Mortimer, Lucky Luke, Les Schtroumpfs (Smurfs), Blueberry, the series XIII and Thorgal, and more recent blockbusters such as Isaac le pirate and Blacksad. Citel Video gains multimedia revenue from Astérix, Tintin, Babar, Caroline, and Corto Maltese.
Media Participations is also active in children’s books and television. The company produces a yearly output of 1,500 hours of TV programs through its own studios, and is involved in other publishing activities such as the magazine Rustica.
The controlling holding company, MP Belgique, is under Belgium regulation. The company was founded in 1985 by former politician Rémy Montagne and set up in today’s configuration in 1991 by his son Vincent Montagne, with a vast majority of the shares held by the Montagne family and a minority stake by Axa insurance company.
Média Participations has a staff of 1,100 with offices in France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and the U.S.
Analysis & Key Developments
Media Participations does not release any detailed financial data other than annual revenues. In fiscal 2015, revenues declined to 340 million EUR from 350 million EUR in 2014. The group had previously shown modest yet steady organic grows over several years, with an increase of 1% between 2013 to 2014.
Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization
Current President and CEO Vincent Montagne took over in 2007. In 2012, Montagne was elected president of the French publishers association, SNE, to succeed Antoine Gallimard.
Media Participations is continuously increasing its international presence. The company began to focus on China in 2014 with book publishing, cartoons, and educational television programs.