Despite tough times in the publishing industry, Axel Springer -- Germany's largest publisher -- reported doubling profits in 2003, increasing from €61.2 million to €130.3 million. Dividends also rose from €.65 to €1,20. Axel Springer was among the first publishing companies to respond to the economic downturn and maintained its upward momentum via strict savings: The company eliminated one in ten positions and temporarily suspended new investments. "Springer is on the offensive," said Mathias Döpfner, the head of the board of directors, when the figures were released in Berlin on Thursday. "Our company is doing well in every regard." Döpfner predicted more good times ahead, foreseeing a rebound in the advertising market in 2004. Axel Springer is once again investing in new projects, most recently launching
Fakt, a daily newspaper in Poland.