Bertelsmann Profits Plunge Masks Positive 2002

27 March 2003

Bertelsmann is counting the cost of last year’s purchase of Zomba Records, the tumbling value of which took the gloss from otherwise positive results.

Following a €1.3bn write-down in Zomba’s value, the German media mammoth’s full-year 2002 net profits slumped 25% to €928 million ($990m; £629m) from €1.23bn in 2001.

However, operating earnings (which exclude exceptional items as well as interest and taxes) surged 63% to €936m, as all seven of Bertelsmann’s major divisions reported an improvement in performance over the year. Sales slipped from €19bn to €18.3bn, which the group blamed largely on the recent strength of the euro.

Of the media firm’s units, RTL Group – the leading TV broadcaster in Europe – posted a jump in earnings from €385m to €465m.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff