Bertelsmann Increases Group Profit to Nearly €700 Million at 2017 Nine-Month Mark

For the first nine months of 2017, Bertelsmann posted a positive business performance, with revenue growth and record operating EBITDA and Group profit.

The international media, services and education company increased its revenues by 1.3 percent year-on-year to €12.1 billion (previous year: €12.0 billion). Bertelsmann’s strategic growth businesses were particularly instrumental in this development: RTL Group’s digital activities continued their dynamic growth, increasing by around 30 percent to €560 million. The music company BMG grew by 29 percent; the Bertelsmann Education Group recorded growth of 38 percent. Overall, the share of total revenues contributed by the high-growth businesses increased to 32 percent (previous year: 29 percent).

Despite a positive special item in the amount of €43 million at RTL Group in the previous year, Operating EBITDA improved to a record €1.64 billion (previous year: €1.63 billion). The EBITDA margin remained on par with the previous year’s high level at 13.5 percent (previous year: 13.7 percent). In the first nine months, start-up losses for digital and new business amounted to €54 million for RTL Group and the Bertelsmann Education Group alone.

Group profit increased to €694 million at September 30, surpassing the previous year’s figure by 6.4 percent (previous year: €652 million). The result before sale of investments was therefore at a record level. With capital gains of €69 million, the Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) fund once again made a high contribution to earnings.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe said: “The 2017 financial year continues to be very gratifying for Bertelsmann. We have stepped up our growth dynamic again, after nine months. The good business performance is accompanied by progress in the implementation of our strategy. With the share increase in Penguin Random House completed, we now own strategic majorities in all our divisions: 75 percent in RTL Group and Penguin Random House, 100 percent in all other divisions. Bertelsmann is increasingly becoming a faster-growing, more digital, more international, and more diversified company. We will continue on this path.”
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