Bertelsmann revenues 'highest for seven years'

Bertelsmann revenues 'highest for seven years'

German media company Bertelsmann has reported its highest revenues in seven years, at €11.82bn for the first nine months of 2014, up 4.3% year-on-year from €11.33bn, with the formation of Penguin Random House among factors contributing "significantly" to the increase.

Operating EBITDA was €1.48bn to the end of September 2014, compared to €1.46bn the previous year.

But group profit was €285m at 30th September, down from €623m in 2013, which Bertelsmann put down to costs from the integration of Penguin and Random House, the downscaling of its direct-to-consumer businesses in Germany, and losses from the sale of the Be Printers’ Italian printing plants and the club businesses in Spain, among other things.

As well as the formation of Penguin Random House, of which 53% is owned by Bertelsmann, the company cited the acquisition of full ownership of music rights company BMG and Arvato’s takeover of the financial services company Gothia and the e-commerce service provider Netrada as reasons for a successful first nine months of 2014.

Bertelsmann’s chairman and c.e.o. Thomas Rabe said: “We are very happy with the financial year to date. Overall, we have exceeded our expectations: Bertelsmann is growing, is very profitable, and is making good progress in the implementation of its strategy. For instance, a few weeks ago we entered the U.S. e-learning market with the purchase of Relias Learning. We will resolutely continue on our course to ensure that Bertelsmann becomes a faster growing, more digital and more international company long-term.”

As part of its expansion plans, Bertelsmann recently bought US online education provider Realias Learning, and invested in Indian education service provider iNurture, among others.

It also fully took over the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr and bought book publisher Santillana.

Judith Hartmann, c.f.o. of Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann is in good shape, both operationally and financially. This places us in a good position from which we can drive our company’s transformation, in line with our four strategic priorities. In order to further advance our strategic position we will continue to invest, with a clear focus on businesses that meet our investment criteria.”