German media group Bertelsmann posts record operating profit

31st August 2010, Comments 0 comments

German media group Bertelsmann posted a record first-half operating profit on Tuesday and raised its full-year outlook on the back of a pick-up in advertising markets.

The group's US publishing unit Random House also contributed to the positive result, a statement said as the company celebrated its 175th anniversary, owing in part to "rapidly rising digital sales."

Bertelsmann reported a net profit of 170 million euros (215 million dollars) in the six months from January to June, compared with a loss of 368 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

Looking ahead, the media group forecast a full-year net profit of more than 500 million euros, upgrading a previous forecast for somewhere between 400-500 million.

Bertelsmann chairman and chief executive Hartmut Ostrowski hailed a record operating profit of 755 million euros, up from 497 million in the first half of 2009.

"The economy and especially the advertising markets are frendlier," he was quoted as saying.

Growth was driven mainly by the group's RTL radio and television unit, its Gruner + Jahr publishing division, and Random House, where "business and digital activities have shown particularly positive development."

Group sales climbed to 7.4 billion euros from 7.1 billion a year earlier.

At Random House, US sales of e-books surged by 300 percent in the six-month period, "and comparably in Germany and the UK," the statement said.

© 2010 AFP

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