- Revenues slightly lower than in 2011
- Operating EBIT significantly lower year-on-year
- Annual net loss due to significant special items
- Investment in India as well as in digital transformation
Hamburg, March 27, 2013 – Gruner + Jahr recorded a slight decrease in revenues in fiscal 2012. Operating profit declined significantly from high prior-year levels. G+J achieved adjusted revenues of € 2.22 billion (2011: € 2.29 billion), the operating EBIT amounted to € 168 million (2011: € 233 million). Lower revenues in the advertising markets for magazines in Germany and other European countries were only partially compensated by growth in digital marketing and activities in China and India. In addition, increased investments in the digital transformation of G+J’s content and marketing offerings, among others, adversely affected the operating result. The return on sales in the period under review reached a level of 7.6 percent, following 10.2 percent in the previous year.
EBIT of the group in fiscal 2012 amounted to € 50 million (2011: € 202 million). The significant decline is mostly due to a higher impact deriving from special items, particularly costs related to the closure of FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND. The sustained difficult situation and the limited perspective in the North American printing market and the magazine business in Spain led to substantial impairment charges. After interest and taxes, G+J recorded a net loss of € 11 million (2011: net income of € 160 million). At year-end G+J was free of net financial debt and had a significant amount of free liquidity available.
In September G+J saw a change in top management: since then, the company has been jointly led by Julia Jäkel, Torsten-Jörn Klein and Achim Twardy.
G+J Germany was unable to maintain the record results of the two previous years in 2012. In the advertising business sector G+J Germany followed the trend of the overall magazine market and registered a decline in revenues. The financial newspaper FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND ceased publication in December 2012 due to insufficient economic prospects. The magazine titles IMPULSE and BÖRSE ONLINE were sold in early 2013. The business magazine CAPITAL will be continued with a new editorial concept and based in Berlin.
The digital product range of G+J continued to show a positive development in 2012. For now, G+J offers digital versions of more than 30 of its German magazines, among others the new eMagazines of VIEW and GEO.
G+J’s digital marketer EMS as well as the performance-oriented online marketing network LIGATUS achieved a significant growth in revenues. Following the successful establishment of its business model in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Sweden and Belgium, LIGATUS further expanded its international business and entered the Italian and Turkish markets in 2012.
Julia Jäkel, Member of the G+J Board, President G+J Germany: “Our aim is to become the leading house of content that succeeds in the digital world. Therefore we need to perform better, get faster, more efficient and more digital. In the past few months we have already started a lot of important initiatives at G+J Germany. We have taken a path we will follow with decisiveness in the years to come.”
The development of activities in European markets was very varied during the period under review. In spite of a difficult economic environment in France, Prisma Media was able to win market share in the print advertising and circulation markets. In Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe the economic environment remained challenging during the past year and market developments continued to be unstable. Business in Austria was on the decline in 2012. Following the downward trend on the magazine advertising market in Austria, the NEWS group saw its advertising revenues drop below the previous year’s figures.
In China, ongoing growth in advertising and digital revenues led to a record operating result in 2012. The magazines again enjoyed a successful economic performance and hold leading market positions in the segments women, parenting, decoration and automotive. MaXposure Media Group India, which was acquired by G+J in 2011, developed very positively in the prior year. By acquiring the premium and performance marketer NETWORKPLAY and the mobile marketer SEVENTYNINE G+J successfully positioned itself in the Indian online and mobile marketing sector.
Dr. Torsten-Jörn Klein, Member of the G+J Board, President G+J International: Just as in 2012, we will continue to focus on restructuring our magazine business in the coming years, along with increased investments in digital transformation. This does also include portfolio measures and a continued focus on the Asian growth markets. The record operating result in China and our strong growth in India confirm that we are on the right track.”
The overall revenue and net income performance of the Dresdner Druck- und Verlagshaus group was very pleasing during fiscal 2012. Thanks to the successful expansion of new businesses, revenues slightly increased year-on-year.
The North American market for high volume printing was still characterised by a situation of surplus capacity and declining volumes from magazine clients in 2012. Brown Printing nevertheless succeeded in winning market share and increasing its revenues and results over the previous year. The sustained difficult situation in the North American printing market, however, necessitated the recognition of an impairment charge of € 37 million against Brown Printing’s non-current assets.
Achim Twardy, Member of the G+J Board, President G+J Corporate Services: “We have taken difficult decisions, implemented important changes and set the course for the future. Gruner + Jahr continues to run a profitable operative business and will make every effort in 2013 to remain a strong, future-oriented media company.”
The number of people employed as of December 31, 2012 was 11,585 and was somewhat lower than the comparative figure for the previous year (11,822 employees). The number of apprentices employed in Germany was 176.
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