As predicted [WAMN: 23-Aug-01] the recession in advertising has hit German publishing giant Axel Springer Verlag where it hurts most.

Springer, Europe’s largest newspaper publisher, yesterday posted a first-half operating profit of just E34 million compared with E127m in the same period last year. The result raises concerns that Springer may record a full-year loss – “in the lower two digit million region” – if there is no resurgence in the advertising market.

Presenting the H1 results, chairman August Fischer expressed his confidence that a descent into the red could be avoided and announced a “rigorous cost-management program”. This would focus primarily on three areas: foreign expansion, editorial, and multimedia.

The former will be pursued with greater caution; a higher degree of co-operation between editorial teams will be demanded; and a spartan regime will be imposed on the group’s multimedia activities – especially the online development of Springer's print titles.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)