August 3, 2015 Last Updated 7:34 am

Athens Stock Exchange reopens after 5 weeks; Lagardère hit by falling US eBooks sales

Morning Brief: Magzter and Scribd issue iOS app updates to add Clipping feature (Magzter), fix crash bugs introduced in previous app update (Scribd)

The Athens Stock Exchange reopened after being closed five weeks and immediately plunged nearly 23 percent at open, with Greek stocks hardest hit by investors. But the market has stabilized during the day and stands down around 17 percent two hours before trading begins in NYC.

ASE-chartThe massive sell-off did not effect European markets today, which are trading as much as one percent higher.

Greece is expected to fall back into recession this year, with the economy contracting between 2 and 4 percent. Greece was in recession for six years from 2008 until 2014.

Greece’s manufacturing sector fell to 30.2 points according to Markit’s monthly purchasing managers index (anything below 50 is considered contracting). “Manufacturing output collapsed in July as the debt crisis came to a head,” said Phil Smith, Markit economist. “Factories faced a record drop in new orders and were often unable to acquire the inputs they needed, particularly from abroad, as bank closures and capital restrictions badly hampered normal business activity.”

App updates:

Magzter updated its iOS app at the end of last week, adding a clipping feature.

Magzter has raised the bar for what a digital magazine can do with the introduction of Clipping, an exciting and fun new feature that lets you “clip” any section of a magazine page and save it, share it with your friends or post it to your favorite social networks! You can clip photos, text, artwork, or ads — anything that you’d like to save or share!

Scribd updated its app for the second time in a week after some users complained of crashes, as well as disappearing audiobooks. The app had been updated on July 28 to add design feature.

What’s New in Version 3.11.1
It’s been a busy few months at the Scribd office: We’ve listened to your feedback, and we’ve rebuilt audiobooks from the ground up to make your listening experience as good as possible. There’s a bunch more in this release, so let’s just cut to the chase.

The Chase:

  • New! We’ve wrangled our books and audiobooks into series for your browsing and binging pleasure. When you reach the end of volume one, we’ll have volume two queued up and ready.
  • New! Love Scribd? Invite your friends to join and we’ll throw in two free months for them to get started.
  • New! More informative book pages give you the low-down before you start reading.
  • New! Better recommendations for first-time readers.
  • New! An Apple Watch app for controlling your audiobooks.
  • Improved! Seamless chapter transitions for audiobooks.
  • Fixed! A major bug that was causing stored audiobooks to disappear.
  • Fixed! A bug that caused the app to crash for some people on the home page

Lag-flagLagardère Unlimited reported earnings last week (PDF), recording revenue of €3,304 million, up 2.9 percent over the same quarter a year ago. But sales at Lagardère Publishing fell the same percentage, 2.9 percent, and the company blamed declining digital sales in the US, as well as its new deal with Amazon.

In the United States, in a declining digital market (slowdown seen since the beginning of 2014), sales of e-books have dropped (24% of sales for Trade vs. 29% at the end of June 2014), given a less successful slate of new releases and the implementation of the agreement with Amazon.

Things were not much better on the magazine side of the business, with revenue declining 4.7 percent due to falling advertising and circulation revenues. But digital grew 19 percent, the company said, partially offsetting the declines in traditional revenue lines.

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