BERLIN: German publishing giant Axel Springer has bucked Europe's gloomy economic trend to post a 73% rise in second quarter profits to €73.5 million ($107.7m; £58m).

The publisher of the continent's biggest circulation newspaper, Bild, also saw sales climb 14% to €701.4m. Q2 advertising revenue was up three percent, while first half ad sales rose 14.7%.

Digital expansion, the acquisition of titles outside Germany and stakes in foreign television companies have helped the company to become less dependent on the weakening newspaper market and the vagaries of the domestic economy.

International revenue rose 28% to €299.8m in the first half, accounting for 22.3% of total sales compared with 19.4% in the year earlier period.

Comments bullish ceo Mathias Doepfner: "Axel Springer is defying the trend. We expect to also be able to set ourselves apart from the negative development of the sector as a whole during the second half of the year."

Data sourced from Shanghai Daily; additional content by WARC staff