An ebullient Gunter Thielen, the new ceo of embattled media group Bertelsmann, reported Thursday unexpectedly favourable operating profits for the third quarter at €101 million ($101.93m; £64.43m).

Said Thielen: “[Bertelsmann is] striding forward with a blend of consolidation and innovation, despite these difficult economic times.” Observers see this as a none-too-subtle swipe at Thomas Middelhoff, Thielen’s high profile predecessor, ousted for his unwelcome determination to centralize the management of the group and force through an IPO.

For the first nine months of the year operating profits, including internet start-up losses and restructuring costs, totalled €259 million; while net income reached €1.27 billion, boosted by the sale of certain internet assets.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff