Bertelsmann has successfully concluded the first half of 2019: The international media, services, and education company generated its highest revenues in twelve years, is increasingly growing organically, has record operating EBITDA, and Group profit once again exceeded the half-billion-euro mark. This positive performance was driven once more especially by the Group’s digital and growth businesses.
Bertelsmann made strategic progress in particular in the establishment of partnerships and alliances, including the Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany. For the full year, the company anticipates a positive business performance. Group profit is expected to exceed the billion-euro mark for the fifth consecutive year.
Bertelsmann’s Group revenues rose by 4.6 percent to €8.6 billion in the reporting period (H1 2018: €8.2 billion). Organic growth improved significantly to 3.2 percent (H1 2018: 2.4 percent). Penguin Random House and the strategic growth platforms Fremantle, BMG, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, and the Bertelsmann Education Group performed particularly well. Overall, the growth businesses organically grew their revenues by 10.6 percent to €3.1 billion, thus generating around 35 percent of total revenues.
Operating EBITDA improved significantly to €1.29 billion (H1 2018: €1.07 billion), setting a new record – even excluding the one-off positive effect of the first-time application of the new accounting standard for leasing liabilities (IFRS16). Almost all Bertelsmann divisions improved their operating profit, led by Penguin Random House and Arvato. At €502 million, Group profit once again exceeded the half-billion-euro mark (H1 2018: €501 million).
Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann had a very successful first half of 2019. In the past few months, we once again stepped up the pace of our growth; the expansion of our digital and growth businesses is increasingly paying off. Bertelsmann is now a faster-growing, more digital, more international, and more diversified company. We will further increase our investments in local premium content and service offerings in the years ahead. In doing so, we will increasingly rely on partnerships across divisions and across sectors – the best example being the successful launch of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance.”
In February, the company debuted the Bertelsmann Content Alliance, which manages the collaboration among Bertelsmann’s content businesses in Germany. The Bertelsmann Content Alliance develops and markets existing and new formats, establishes new content trends, and creates comprehensive offers for creative professionals. One of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance’s first projects was to found the Audio Alliance, which pools the development, production, and sale of all Bertelsmann podcasts and audio-on-demand offerings. The Ad Alliance –the ad-sales alliance of IP Deutschland, G+J EMS, Smartclip, and Spiegel Media – gained Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe’s joint marketing organization Media Impact as a new partner in May. The Ad Alliance portfolio includes seven TV brands, 91 print brands, and 110 digital brands, as well as the Audio Alliance offering.
In the first six months of the current year, Bertelsmann made further progress in its four strategic priorities – strengthening the core, digital transformation, expanding growth platforms, and expanding into growth regions.
Source: Bertelsmann Earnings Release