Bertelsmann Achieves First-Half Operating Group Profit Exceeding Half-Billion Euros for the First Time

  • Revenues rise to €8.1 billion
  • Growth businesses grow their revenues by nine percent
  • Operating EBITDA of €1.1 billion continues stable, at a high level
  • Investment activity again strengthened, to €643 million
  • Progress on all strategic priorities
  • Closing of Penguin Random House share increase scheduled for 4th quarter
  • Positive outlook for full year confirmed

Bertelsmann had a successful first half of 2017. The international media, services, and education company reports revenue growth, operating EBITDA at a high level, and a first-half operating Group result of over €500 million for the first time in its history. The Group achieved further progress in implementing its growth strategy, and among other major initiatives signed an agreement to increase its stake in the world’s largest trade publishing group, Penguin Random House, to a strategic majority of 75 percent.

Bertelsmann increased its Group revenues by 2.1 percent to €8.1 billion in the reporting period (H1 2016: €8.0 billion). Organic growth improved to 1.4 percent (H1 2016: 1.3 percent). RTL Group’s digital TV businesses, the digital activities of Gruner + Jahr and BMG, Arvato SCM Solutions and the Bertelsmann Education Group in particular developed  positively. Growth businesses grew by 9 percent to €2.7 billion (H1 2016: €2.3 billion). For the first time, they accounted for more than 30 percent of total sales.

At €1.10 billion (H1 2016: €1.11 billion), operating EBITDA nearly reached the record level of the prior-year period, although that previous result reflected a positive €43 million effect at RTL Group. In the first six months of 2017, RTL Group and the Bertelsmann Education Group incurred €37 million in start-up losses for digital and new business.

Consolidated net income amounted to €502 million (H1 2016: €482 million). The Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) fund once again made a significant contribution to earnings, with €63 million in gains on disposals.

CEO Rabe emphasized that Bertelsmann has made significant progress on all four of its strategic priorities this year – strengthening its core businesses, transforming to digital, extending its growth platforms and expanding in growth regions.

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Source: Bertelsmann Press Release