Bertelsmann Achieves Record Operating Result in First Half of 2021

Bertelsmann closed the first half of 2021 with a record operating result (Operating EBITDA) of €1.4 billion. The international media, services, and education company generated revenues significantly above the previous year’s and pre-Corona levels, as well as its highest Group result in 19 years. Four of the eight business units each recorded double-digit organic growth rates. For the full year, the company expects its business to continue to develop positively and anticipates Group profit of close to two billion euros.

Bertelsmann’s first-half consolidated revenues increased by 10.7 percent over the previous year to €8.7 billion (H1 2020: €7.8 billion). Organic growth was 16.6 percent year-on-year, and 7.1 percent compared to the pre-Corona year 2019. The RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, and Arvato divisions each recorded double-digit organic-growth rates.

Operating EBITDA improved significantly to €1.4 billion (H1 2020: €1.0 billion), marking a new record. RTL Group, Penguin Random House and Arvato once again proved to be the strongest earnings pillars in the Bertelsmann Group.

At €1.4 billion, group profit already exceeded the billion-euro threshold after six months of the current financial year, the highest figure since the Group’s sale of its AOL Europe shares in 2002. Besides the positive earnings trend, this increase was also due to gains on disposals.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe commented: “The first half of 2021 went very well for Bertelsmann. In particular, our three major revenue mainstays, RTL Group, Penguin Random House, and Arvato, saw significant gains. The Bertelsmann Investments portfolio increased in value and made a high contribution to earnings. We made good progress in executing our strategy: With the planned merger of our French TV subsidiary Groupe M6 with Groupe TF1, and of RTL Nederland with Talpa, as well as with the planned merger of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr, we have made great strides in creating national media champions. Bertelsmann is a key driver of consolidation in Europe’s media markets in the competition with the global tech platforms.”
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