Bertelsmann Achieves Record Operating Result in the first half of 2016

*Positive business development and progress on all strategic priorities
*First-time reporting of the new Group structure with eight divisions
*Growth profile significantly improved
*Operating EBITDA, at €1.11 billion, surpasses previous year’s record level
*Group profit up more than 20 percent, to €482 million
*Confidence for the full year

Bertelsmann closed the first half of 2016 with a record operating result and a significant increase in Group profit. The international media, services and education Group further improved its growth profile thanks to strategic progress in all of its eight divisions. This is Bertelsmann’s first report with its new Group structure; since the beginning of this year, the two strategic growth platforms, BMG and Bertelsmann Education Group, as well as the digital funds pooled in Bertelsmann Investments, have been standalone divisions.

Bertelsmann’s revenues in the first six months of the current year amounted to €8.0 billion (H1 2015: €8.0 billion). Improved organic growth of 1.3 percent (H1 2015: -0.5 percent) nearly offset portfolio effects following divestments and negative exchange rate effects. Bertelsmann generated more than a quarter of its first-half revenues outside Europe; the U.S. is the Group’s second-largest market.

The operating result exceeded the previous period’s already-high level. Despite start-up losses for digital and new business at RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr and the Bertelsmann Education Group totaling €61 million, Operating EBITDA improved to a record level of €1.11 billion (H1 2015: €1.06 billion). In particular, RTL Group’s businesses in France and Germany, Arvato, and the Bertelsmann Printing Group recorded improved results. The EBITDA margin increased to 13.9 percent (H1 2015: 13.2 percent).

Group profit rose by 21.1 percent to €482 million (H1 2015: €398 million), thanks to the improved operating result and a lower negative impact from special items. The Group’s digital funds pooled in Bertelsmann Investments made a significant contribution, especially Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI).

Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “We are very pleased with the positive development of the first six months of the year, in which all of the divisions played their part. The best operating result in Bertelsmann’s history, the high profitability of our businesses, and significantly improved Group profit of nearly a half billion euros give us confidence for the full year. We recognize that our growth profile has further improved through a series of strategic measures; our new Group structure with eight divisions introduced at the beginning of the year makes this transparent. At the same time, we have become more digital and more international – we will continue on this path in the second half of the year.”

Rabe noted that Bertelsmann made progress on all four of its strategic priorities in the first half of the year – strengthening the core, digital transformation, expansion of growth platforms and expansion in growth regions.
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