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Mecom raises core profit forecast; says CEO to step down

(Reuters) - European publishing company Mecom Group Plc (LSE:MEC) raised its full-year core profit forecast and said its chief executive would step down at the end of the month.

Shares in the company, which have fallen 46 percent since the beginning of the year, were trading up 31 percent at 53 pence. The stock was the biggest percentage gainer on the London Stock Exchange in early trade.

The company, which owns more than 250 printed titles and 200 websites, said Stephen Davidson would step down as CEO by the end of October.

Mecom now expects full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be between 70 million euros and 80 million euros (£4.76 billion pounds), due to a stabilization in the rate of advertising revenue decline in the Netherlands and cost benefits realised in the quarter.

The publisher had said in July that it expected core earnings at the upper end of its previous forecast of 50 million to 60 million euros, as it continued to cut costs.

Mecom has been selling assets and cutting jobs and costs to ease the impact of sliding advertising rates across all its markets.

Revenue fell 11 percent to 23.6 million euros, in the three months ended September 30, while EBITDA rose 1.3 million euros to 20.3 million euros, Mecom said on Tuesday.

Total costs fell 13 percent from the year-earlier quarter. Costs fell 15 million euros in the Netherlands, while they were 11 million euros lower in Demark, helped by a restructuring programme and some disposals.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)