Return on investment at 9.5% on par with the previous year / strong growth of digital business in core markets / development of revenues and operating Ebitda characterised by the Brown Printing special effect
Hamburg, 1 April 2015 – The results of Gruner + Jahr in financial year 2014 fully confirmed the company's transformation course. While business developments in 2014 were largely stable adjusted for portfolio effects, G+J generated an Ebitda return on investment of 9.5% – on par with the previous year (2013: 9.6%).
Gruner + Jahr reported strong growth in the digital business. Year-on-year growth in core markets Germany and France amounted to 26%. The digital business made up 17% of all business in these markets.
The company reported revenues of EUR 1.747 billion in 2014 (2013: EUR 2.014 billion). This drop was due in particular to conscious divestments, first and foremost the disposal of US printing company Brown Printing, but also the withdrawal from markets in the Adriatic region and India as well as smaller portfolio adjustments in other markets. Declines in advertising and slight drops in sales revenues also had an impact. Operating Ebitda amounted to EUR 166 million in 2014 (2013: EUR 193 million). Without taking the US printing company into account, Gruner + Jahr reported stable operating Ebitda in financial year 2014. Gruner + Jahr had 8,168 employees as at the end of the year (2013: 10,556 employees); this reduction is also due largely to the above-mentioned portfolio measures.
Gruner + Jahr invested a significant amount in its core business, strengthening its long-term perspective as a healthy and strong media company. FLOW was one of Germany's greatest magazine success stories in recent years, with circulation doubling in 2014 to more than 100,000.
In the digital business, Gruner + Jahr updated the technology and contents of its brand sites, all of which are ranked in the top three in their relevant markets. Gruner + Jahr has become Apple's most important publishing partners with 80 eMag products in the App store, publishing eMags for HÄUSER, BEEF!, ESSEN & TRINKEN and SCHÖNER WOHNEN, among others in 2014.
Gruner + Jahr further improved its strategic position in the digital marketing business. The LIGATUS business as well as the VEESEO and TRND businesses – stake holdings which were acquired in 2014 – all grew by 25% in the past financial year. Gruner + Jahr was once again Germany's largest mobile marketer in 2014.
In core market France, G+J subsidiary Prisma Media ended the year as leader of numerous markets: The publishing company reported France's greatest print circulation, the greatest print coverage as well as the greatest total digital and print coverage of all French media companies. The digital business there is growing dynamically.
Gruner + Jahr started a comprehensive and long-running efficiency programme in September 2014 to counter structural media changes as well as pressure on the advertising and distribution markets; this programme began to bear fruit in the past financial year.
G+J CEO Julia Jäkel: "Developments in 2014 confirmed our approach: strengthening our digital business. We are seizing the opportunities offered by the print market and are developing new magazines. We are hiving off activities that are no longer compatible or that do not promise enough of a return on investment. And we are much more efficient. The message learned from the past year is: We are making progress. Gruner + Jahr is healthy – and we have the funding to take on new challenges."
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