Axel Springer confirms full-year targets

5th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

German publishing giant Axel Springer said Wednesday it is sticking to its full-year profit targets after profits rose in the third quarter and first nine months.

"Axel Springer is making good progress in becoming the leading digital publisher," said chief executive Matthias Doepfner.

"The contribution of our digital activities to (underlying profit) is about to jump over the mark of 70 percent.

After successful nine months, we confirm our targets for the full year," Doepfner said.

In the third quarter alone, the period from July, net profit rose by 3.

6 percent to 47.

9 million euros ($59.

9 million).

Underlying or operating profit was up 1.

9 percent at 97.

8 million euros on an 8.

2-percent increase in revenues to 741.

1 million euros.

Looking ahead to the full year, Springer, which publishes the mass-circulation daily Bild and the conservative broadsheet Die Welt, said it was targeting sales growth of 5.

0 percent for the whole of 2014.

"The executive board continues to expect a mid single-digit percentage increase in group-wide total revenues in financial year 2014," Springer said.

The board also "continues to expect a low double-digit percentage increase" -- or around 10 percent -- for underlying profit, it said.

Meanwhile, the company said it would drop a legal battle with Internet giant Google over the publishing of news snippets and thumbnails of articles in its search results.

Major media publishers also including Springer in June sued Google, demanding compensation for republished parts of their online articles and associated ad revenues.

As a result, Google last month removed the blurbs for several German news sites including Axel Springer's.

But Springer said Wednesday that traffic to the pages had dropped off so dramatically since then that it would now offer Google a licence at no charge to publish the snippets.

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© 2014 AFP

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