Bertelsmann Increases Revenues, Achieves Best Ever Operating Result in 2019

Bertelsmann had a successful financial year 2019 with an increase in revenues, record operating EBITDA, and Group profit againover €1 billion. Given this positive business performance, the international media, services, and education company is well prepared to emerge safely from the current crisis due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus. Bertelsmann made a number of strategic advances in 2019. In December, for example, the Group announced its complete acquisition of the Penguin Random House book publishing group. The CRM company Majorel took up its operations, and in Germany, the Bertelsmann Content Alliance, which bundles the content businesses of the Group’s German subsidiaries, successfully began operations.

Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, emphasized: “We have taken many measures to protect our employees’ health and well-being in this coronaviruscrisis. Bertelsmann is well prepared financially. We are profitable, have high liquidity, a comfortable equity ratio, and ratings continue unchanged in the investment-grade category. The broad setup of our businesses makes us less susceptible to economic fluctuations and allows us to continue investing in our future without compromising the substance of our business.”

Thomas Rabe continues: “In this extraordinary situation, all media are of special societal and systemic relevance. In Germany, we are part of the critical infrastructure which must be maintained and supported, especially now. We provide authoritative information and entertainment to millions of people, who now face unprecedented disruption to their personal and professional lives in connection with curbing the spread of the coronavirus.”

Group revenues in 2019 rose to €18.0 billion (previous year: €17.7 billion). In addition to Penguin Random House, the Group’s strategic growth platforms contributed to this increase. Nearly all business units recorded organic growth. The Group’s high-growth businesses reported particularly strong increases. Their organic growth amounted to seven percent, and their share of Group revenues increased to 36 percent. At 51 percent, the share of digital businesses in Group revenues exceeded the 50-percent target for the first time.

Operating EBITDA reached a new historic high at €2.9 billion (previous year: €2.6 billion). The main drivers were the services subsidiary Arvato and the Bertelsmann Education Group, each of which posted a significant increase in earnings. The first-time application of the new IFRS 16 financial reporting standard also had a positive effect. But even without this effect, operating EBITDA was at a record level and exceeded the high prior-year figure.

Group profit, at €1.1 billion (previous year: €1.1 billion), exceeded the billion-euro mark for the fifth consecutive year. Besides a good operating performances by the individual divisions, this was also due to lower charges for special items. The fund activities pooled in the Bertelsmann Investments division once again made a relevant contribution to earnings.,8182,

Back To Top
×Close search