Bertelsmann has reported a year-on-year rise in group revenues in its first quarter to €3.95bn (2015: €3.92bn), with organic growth at 2.7% with operating EBITDA up 8% to €500m (2015: €463m) and group profit up by nearly 30% to €185m (2015: €143m).
The results were largely driven by RTL Group’s broadcasting and TV production businesses, Arvato’s services businesses, and Relias’ education business. However Penguin Random House was noted to have had a "strong bestseller performance" during the quarter.
The media, services and education company has a new group structure with eight divisions: Penguin Random House, RTL Group, Berterlsmann Printing Group, G+J, Bertelsmann Education Group, BMG, Arvato, and Bertelsmann Investments.
During the reporting period, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland launched the new channel RTL International, and the company also announced the upcoming launch of the two channels RTL plus and Toggo plus, and the acquisition of the online advertising marketer Smartclip. In Germany, Gruner + Jahr (G+J) bought a majority stake in the digital company trnd, and in France it launched travel magazine National Geographic Traveler. BMG invested in the British label Ram Records and expanded to Australia. Arvato announced it would be constructing a new logistics centre in in Dorsten, Germany. And Bertelsmann Investments’ funds also expanded their activities, including investing in e-commerce provider Kart Rocket in India, in addition to investing in Chinese e-commerce company Xian Life.
Thomas Rabe, chairman and c.e.o. of Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann had a very gratifying first quarter. We delivered a record operating performance and significantly improved our Group profit. We are well on our way to making Bertelsmann a faster-growing, more digital and more international company. Our investments and the progress we have made in implementing our strategy prove this. Since 1st January, we have worked in a new corporate structure with eight divisions. Based on this strong first quarter, we are confident about the rest of the year.”
Bernd Hirsch, chief financial officer of Bertelsmann, said: “We are shaping Bertelsmann’s transformation from a solid financial position. For the full year, we continue to expect an increase in revenues and continued high operating profitability.”