Heinrich Bauer Verlag, Germany’s largest publisher of TV listing guides and women’s and teens’ magazines, was in ebullient form Tuesday with its full-year sales forecast. The group was, however, less forthcoming as to likely earnings.

Bauer titles, among them TV Movie, Bravo and Bella, are set to realise circulation revenues of DM332 billion for the year to December 30 – slightly up on last year’s total – while ad income is predicted to increase from DM687m to DM702m. Growth, however, has deserted the domestic market which declined by 10%, the sales surge being achieved in other countries.

Hereafter the numbers are less distinct. Profit for the year thus far had fallen by 10%, conceded group partner Heinz Bauer. He declined to be more specific, pointing out that as a private company the release of fiscal data at this juncture is at Bauer’s sole discretion – although as a partner in the group he and his co-partners have a personal legal liability for its affairs.

He was more forthright on the subject of Rupert Murdoch. Referring to speculation that the acquisitive media mogul is eager to buy into the group, Herr Bauer was terse: “I have not held talks with Murdoch, and I have no interest in taking on board a partner.”

He was equally dismissive of rumors of staff layoffs and stressed that the group has no plans to emulate the axe-wielding currently in vogue among other publishing groups.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)