Extraordinary gains and cost-cutting offset weak advertising revenue and asset write-down provisions at German media giant Bertelsmann, increasing first half profits by a factor of almost three.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization) soared to €157 million ($155.81m; £99.54m) in the six months to June 30, assisted by a €2.8 billion cash injection from the sale to AOL Time Warner of its residual holding in AOL Europe. This compares with a loss of €884 million in the same period last year.

Such a robust profit in the face of declining revenues - down to €8.83bn from €9.29bn last time - indicates the efficacy of the cost-cutting measures introduced by former ceo Thomas Middelhoff before his terminal differences with the group’s controlling Mohn family.

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