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Board authorises AFP Chairman to sign 2014-2018 contract of objectives and means (COM) with the State
This contract completes a months-long process of transformation for AFP, marked by: a development plan defining strategic priorities; the positive resolution of the complaint filed in Brussels against France for State aid, endorsing under European law the missions of general interest devolved upon the Agency; the creation of a technical subsidiary of means and innovation to provide financing for future investments; the amendment of AFP’s statute under the law of 17 April 2015 which strengthens the agency’s governing bodies; and ongoing social negotiations aimed at giving AFP a general company agreement.
The new COM is characterised by five essential points:
- The securing of relations between AFP and the State with regard to European law on competition;
- The embodiment of the missions of general interest devolved upon AFP;
- The implementation of the Agency’s development plan and its associated strategic priorities (live video, interactive infographics, innovative sports applications, global reach, quality of service enjoyed by the Agency’s clients) ;
- The confirmation of the State’s financial support, with an average annual rise of 1.4 percent between 2014 and 2018;
- AFP’s commitments in the area of management, with ongoing efforts to adapt and modernise its management structure.
The Board approved AFP’s 2014 accounts.
AFP achieved an operating margin of 16 million euros in 2014, an increase of 43 per cent compared to 2013. Revenues were 290.7 million euros, representing an exceptional increase of 3.5 per cent over 2013 and exceeding the budget. The rise in operating costs, which totalled 269.8 million euros, was kept fully under control (+1.5%).
The exceptional commercial performance in 2014 brought the first fruits of the 2014-2018 AFP development plan and validated its strategic priorities with a very strong increase in video sales (+28.7 %), very promising results for sports service products (+7 %) and a sustained growth in international sales (+4.1 %).
The net result, which should have been positive given these performances, was -2.2 million euros due to unexpected, non-recurring events at the end of the financial year which penalised these exceptional and financial results.
AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,326 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.