Media Group Bertelsmann pleased with ′organic growth′ | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 26.03.2013
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Media Group Bertelsmann pleased with 'organic growth'

German media giant Bertelsmann has said it's been doing fine in a heavily contested market thanks to ongoing restructuring efforts and its expansion drive. The company's outlook is modest, but firm.

Europe's largest media group, Bertelsmann of Germany, reported Tuesday it had made big strides in restructuring its global operations. The company said it logged a bottom-line profit of 619 million euros ($797 million) last year, slightly up from the 612 million euros recorded in 2011.

Operating profit came in at 1.74 billion euros, while 2012 revenues rose by 4.5 percent to 16.1 billion euros.

"Bertelsmann looks back on a good business year with a strong operating performance and organic growth, helping the firm to be very profitable," the head of financial operations, Judith Hartmann, said in a statement.

Bertelsmann owns European broadcaster RTL Group, book publisher Random House and magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr.

Back in the music business

Chief Executive Thomas Rabe said the company's further growth was making headway.

"In 2012 and in the first months of the current year we've paved the way to improve our growth profile," Rabe commented. He pointed to the planned merger of Random House and Penguin to become one of the world's leading publishing groups.

In addition, Bertelsmann announced in January it was taking full control of the BMG music rights management business, buying a stake held by private equity company KKR & Co. Both acquisitions are subject to regulatory approval.

RTL launched five new channels in Europe and Asia last year. The broadcaster reported mounting success of its video-on-demand platforms which logged a total of 2.4 billion processing requests in 2012.

Bertelsmann said it hoped its business performance would remain stable this year despite a difficult market environment.

hg/hc (dpa, Reuters)