Axel Springer Q1 Profit Up; Acquires Israeli Classifieds Portal For EUR 165 Mln

By RTT News, 

( - German media holding company Axel Springer SE (AXELF.PK) Tuesday reported a higher profit for the first quarter, as revenues increased mainly by continuous growth in the Group's digital media business.

The company said it made rapid progress in digitization of its business. It benefited from positive performance of digital activities in all three operating segments.

Separately, Axel Springer Digital Classifieds, joint venture of Axel Springer and General Atlantic, said it has acquired 100 percent of Israel-based classifieds portal yad2, operated by Coral-Tell Ltd., for nearly 165 million euros. The completion of the transaction is subject to approval by the competent authorities.

Mathias Döpfner, chief executive officer of the company said, "Operationally, we got off to a very good start in 2014. The fact that we generated more than half our revenues and earnings in our digital activities for the first time ever is a symbolic milestone."

For the first quarter, the company posted consolidated net income of 65.6 million euros, up 22.9 percent from 53.4 million euros in the prior year. On an adjusted basis, consolidated net income was 61.6 million euros, compared to 46.4 million euros a year ago.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA grew 13.6 percent to 118.4 million euros, mainly due to further increases in the profit contributions of the Group's digital activities. Digital media EBITDA share was 66.9 percent, compared to 61.7 percent in the same quarter last year.

Total revenues for the quarter increased 4.4 percent to 692.3 million euros from 663.4 million euros a year earlier. After adjusting for consolidation and currency effects, revenues were up 2.4 percent.

Digital media revenues share, on a pro forma basis, increased to 52.8 percent from 49.6 percent last year.

For full year 2014, the company said it still expects consolidated revenue growth in the mid single-digit percentage range, with expected drop in circulation revenues to be more than offset by higher advertising revenues and higher other revenues.

Axel Springer expects EBITDA to increase in the low double-digit percentage range for the year.

On Frankfurt's Xetra, the shares are up 0.98 percent to trade at 44.43 euros.

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