PRH helps Bertelsmann first quarter rise

PRH helps Bertelsmann first quarter rise

Bertelsmann increased its revenue and operating EBITDA in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the year before, chiefly due to its book publishing business and its German-language TV business.

The media, services and education company, which owns 53% of Penguin Random House, has released its results for the three months to 31st March, 2015, which show that group revenue increased to €3.92bn, up half a percent from €3.90bn the previous year.

The company said this was “despite the disposal of several structurally declining businesses”, which include DirectGroup Germany, its German-language book club business.

Operating EBITDA was up by 6.7% to €463m, from €434m the previous year.

Bertelsmann chairman and c.e.o. Thomas Rabe said: “The year started well for Bertelsmann. We achieved a record operating result, to which our strategic actions in particular contributed, such as the combination of Penguin and Random House. Based on our high level of profitability we can continue to drive the group's transformation forward – including by expanding our education business, where we made significant progress in the first quarter.”

Bertelsmann restted its plan to expand education into its third pillar of business alongside media content and services. It has been expanding its growth in education businesses, including a recent investment in Alliant International University. In March it increased its stake in the educational service company Synergis Education. Last year Bertelsmann bought American e-learning provider Relias Learning, acquired a stake in US online education provider Udacity, and invested in Indian e-learning company iNurture Education Solutions.

It also launched an education technology fund in Brazil.

In March, Bertelsmann said Penguin Random House delivered a "strong performance in its first full year after the merger", with revenues of €3.3bn, up 25.2% from €2.7bn the year before.