Euro Ad Rebound Lifts Bertelsmann

05 September 2003

German-headquartered media mammoth Bertelsmann is back in the black after posting a first-quarter loss.

The group reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of €228 million ($249.5m; £157.6m) for the first six months of the year, despite a €58m loss in Q1. Revenues slipped 11% year-on-year to €7.9 billion, partly due to the stronger euro.

Bertelsmann’s star performer was pan-European broadcaster RTL Group, where – as reported Thursday [WAMN: 04-Sep-03] – EBITDA surged 40% to €253m. RTL ceo Gerhard Zeiler believes the ad market has now bottomed out.

RTL aside, the group’s units did not fare well. Music arm BMG’s operating loss more than doubled to €117m, and there were EBITDA falls at magazine division Gruner + Jahr (–7.4%) and book publisher Random House (–57%).

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff