Axel Springer No let-up in digital publishing bonanza for media group

The firm said in a statement it had made an adjusted net profit of 78.1 million euros ($85 million) between January and March.

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German media group Axel Springer said it made an adjusted net profit of 78.1mn euros in January and March, almost 20 percent more than in the same period last year play

German media group Axel Springer said it made an adjusted net profit of 78.1mn euros in January and March, almost 20 percent more than in the same period last year

(AFP)
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German media group Axel Springer said Wednesday its digital publishing investments were continuing to pay off, reporting increased revenue and profits for the first quarter and confirming forecasts for the year.

The firm said in a statement it had made an adjusted net profit of 78.1 million euros ($85 million) between January and March, almost 20 percent more than in the same period last year.

Operating, or underlying profit stood at 147.2 million euros, up 16.9 percent, on the back of a 6.7-percent increase in revenues to 836.2 million.

"Significant investments in growth areas in recent years contributed to the good start in 2017," said chief executive Mathias Doepfner, pointing to the group's specialist classified advertising sites and online news media like Business Insider, acquired in 2015.

Digital publishing made up 72 percent of Springer's revenue and 80 percent of its operating profit in the first three months, the group said.

Founded just after World War II by journalist Axel Springer, the Berlin-based group is best known as the publisher of conservative broadsheet Die Welt and raucous, tabloid-style Bild, Germany's biggest-selling newspaper.

But it was one of the first German publishing houses to go all-in on digital media, selling off some print titles, offering online subscriptions to its existing outlets and buying up web-only publications.

"Axel Springer is further driving migration towards digital business models with above average margins. We expect further solid organic and external growth," commented analyst Harald Heider of DZ Bank.

Looking ahead to the full year, Springer confirmed its forecast of a 5.0- to 10-percent increase in both operating profit and adjusted net profit, which in 2016 reached 595 million euros and 450 million euros.

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