Press release

Gruner + Jahr 2017: a successful year of innovation

Hamburg, 28 March 2018 – Hamburg-based publishing company Gruner + Jahr is able to look back on a successful 2017, having recorded a significant year-on-year EBIT increase for the year. This achievement resulted primarily from the company’s growing domestic business, to which its expanding digital operations and new magazine launches have contributed. Gruner+Jahr’s recently launched another two magazines: “Hirschhausens stern Gesund Leben” and “JWD”.

G+J’s successes have further cemented its position as Germany’s most innovative and creative publishing company, and they have not gone unnoticed in the industry. Indeed in January, G+J-CEO Julia Jäkel was awarded the title of “Media Woman of the Year” by German magazine “Horizont”, and in March, the title of “Media Personality of the Year” by the media company
Werben & Verkaufen. While conferred to Julia Jäkel individually, these accolades constituted recognition for the achievements of the publishing company as a whole and the hard work of its dedicated employees. The corresponding explanatory statements lauded the company’s courage and innovative strength as well the speed with which it implements changes.

Gruner + Jahr achieved sales of EUR 1.5 billion in 2017. The four-percent decline on the previous year was attributable to portfolio measures, with publishing sales in Spain and Austria having a marked effect in this respect. Operating EBITDA improved by 6.1 percent to EUR 145 million (previous year: EUR 137 million). This resulted in an EBITDA margin of 9.6 percent (previous year: 8.7 percent)

In Germany, G+J grew in terms of both sales and earnings, with this growth mainly attributable to the company’s flourishing digital business. Indeed, digital operations now make up more than one quarter of total sales in the German market. Strong growth was also posted for the marketing platform Applike, which was established in 2016. G+J’s most successful online products – the food community Chefkoch and flagship magazines STERN, GALA, and BRIGITTE – achieved not only record reach, but also record sales.

Recent magazines launched over the past few years also contributed significantly to the company’s business growth. AdAlliance, a platform jointly created by G+J eMS and RTL subsidiary IP Deutschland, and joined by “Spiegel” in 2017, served to further advance business. The content communication subsidiary Territory recorded positive business development, and DDV Mediengruppe posted stable sales and earnings for the business year.

G+J France posted a moderate decline in sales, but a considerable drop in earnings. Print advertising and digital services were under most pressure in this respect, with the video sales company Advideum among the hardest hit. The digital versions of classic magazine brands such as VOICI, GALA, and FEMME ACTUELLE grew considerably in terms of both sales and reach, primarily thanks to revenue growth in the mobile and video segments. Overall, revenue from digital services was higher than in the previous year.

CEO Julia Jäkel: “Our mission is to be the most creative and innovative publishing company. And seeing our wealth of ideas and our courage come through so well in our business figures strengthens our resolve to continue on the same path. At Gruner + Jahr, we are driven by a deep desire to cultivate our existing products and continually develop new and exciting offerings. Our transformation is therefore set to be ongoing.”

Gruner + Jahr is Europe’s largest premium magazine publishing company. Its products include established brands such as STERN, GEO, BRIGITTE, ESSEN & TRINKEN, and SCHÖNER WOHNEN – as well as younger brands like CHEFKOCH, BARBARA, BEEF, and 11FREUNDE. In total, Gruner+Jahr publishes around 500 printed and digital media products across more than 20 countries. It also markets products and licenses such as the SCHÖNER WOHNEN furniture collection. Gruner+Jahr’s activities focus primarily on Germany and France. In the latter, its French subsidiary Prisma Media boasts among the widest audiences of any publishing company. Digital business makes up one quarter of sales, and is exhibiting continued strong growth. Indeed, the company’s digital products lead the rankings in all publishing segments, from news through to people and living. G+J also operates international digital marketing platforms (Ligatus, Applike). Territory, Germany’s largest communications agency for brand content, is a member of the G+J family. Other members include Europe’s leading special-interest publisher Motor Presse Stuttgart (AUTO MOTOR UND SPORT) and DDV Mediengruppe in Dresden (SÄCHSISCHE ZEITUNG). G+J also holds a stake in Spiegel-Gruppe (SPIEGEL, MANAGER MAGAZIN). Gruner+Jahr is a Bertelsmann company. | |

Contact for questions

Frank Thomsen                       
Head of Corporate Communication                           
20444 Hamburg           
Telephone no.:  +49 (0) 40 / 37 03 - 31 13               
Fax no.:  +49 (0) 40 / 37 03 - 56 17