German Media Firms Defy Weak Ad Climate

11 November 2004

Germany's media giants are reporting robust third quarter earnings in the face of an advertising market that remains fragile.

New titles and bigger sales helped increase earnings to €126.9 million ($164m, £88.2) for Berlin-based Axel Springer, Europe's largest newspaper publisher and owner of tabloid best-seller Bild.

The company, under the stewardship of chief executive Mathias Döpfner, has also cuts costs and expanded into eastern Europe.

Cost cutting and asset sales have been a feature of the rise in fortunes of Springer's rival Bertelsmann, which saw earnings grow to €216m, up 14%, as a result of its activities in TV, books, magazines, music and printing.

In the German pay TV market, Premiere reports breaking the three million subscriber barrier, an important objective as it aims for an initial public offering next year.

Says Georg Kofler, chief executive: "Premiere has reached critical mass for profitable growth."

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