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Business

Bertelsmann posts record operating profit

German media group Bertelsmann has posted a record mid-term operating profit as advertising revenues recover from the global economic crisis.

Bertelsmann logo

Profits are thanks to a booming advertising market

German media giant Bertelsmann is back in the black thanks to a buoyant TV advertising market.

The owner of the RTL television group and publishers Random House and Gruner + Jahr posted a first-half net profit of 246 million euros ($312 million), compared with a loss of over 330 million euros during the same time last year.

Bertelsmann says RTL, which owns or has shares in 31 radio channels and 43 TV channels across Europe, benefited from a rebound in advertising.

The company generates around one quarter of its turnover with advertising revenues. The advertising market suffered dramatically in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Advertising revenues recover

"The economy and especially the advertising markets are friendlier," said Hartmut Ostrowski, chairman and chief executive.

Growth was also driven by the company's publishing divisions Gruner + Jahr and Random House where "business and digital activities have shown particularly positive development."

At Random House, US sales of e-books went up by 300 percent over the last six months. German and UK markets have shown a similar surge in sales.

As a result, Bertelsmann, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, raised its outlook for the full year. It now expects to turn a profit of over 500 million euros.

In a restructuring effort in 2009, the company saved one billion euros, cutting 4,000 jobs. Currently, Bertelsmann has around 100,000 people employed worldwide, 2,500 less than only six months ago.

Author: Andreas Illmer (Reuters/AFP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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