Corporate revenue of German media company Bertelsmann rose by 2.8 percent to 17.7 billion euros (20 billion U.S. dollars) last year, its highest level since 2007, the company announced on Tuesday.
Bertelsmann, a multinational corporation based in Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, is one of the world’s largest mass media companies and also active in the service sector and education.
“2018 was a successful year for Bertelsmann, we have grown stronger, more digital and more international. Organic growth is higher than it has been for years, with almost half of our revenue coming from digital activities,” said Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann.
The German media, services and education company recorded an operating profit (EBITDA) of 2.59 billion euros in 2018, slightly below the record level of the previous year of 2.64 billion euros.
Although consolidated net income again exceeded the billion-euro mark, at 1.1 billion euros, it was slightly below the 2017 figure due to negative special factors such the merger of Bertelsmann’s call center division with the Moroccan Saham Group.
The main driver for growth was Bertelsmann’s media subsidiary, the RTL Group which runs numerous television channels, video-on-demand platforms and radio stations. The RTL Group increased its 2018 revenues by 2.1 percent to 6.5 billion euros last year.
Bernd Hirsch, Bertelsmann’s chief financial officer (CFO), said that “Bertelsmann has a solid financial position”. The company was “confident for the year as a whole” and was anticipating “higher revenues and continued high operating profitability”.
Bertelsmann’s historical book business which is bundled in a majority stake in Penguin Random House, saw revenues rise by 1.9 percent to 3.4 billion euros.
Operating profit grew by 1.3 percent to 528 million euros.
Bertelsmann CEO Rabe concluded that “we will continue to drive Bertelsmann’s transformation and growth in 2019” with a focus on “strengthening our technological competencies, especially in the areas of cloud, data and artificial intelligence”.