Hamburg, March 27, 2019 – Gruner + Jahr successfully continued its process of transformation in 2018. The last fiscal year was characterized by growth in Germany, further gains in the company’s digital business, the launch of numerous successful magazines, and significant expansion of the company’s brand business. These developments have enabled Gruner + Jahr to solidify its position as Germany’s most innovative and creative publishing company.
Gruner + Jahr achieved sales of €1.440 billion in 2018 (previous year: €1.513 billion). This decrease was almost entirely attributable to portfolio changes, in particular the sales of Motorpress Ibérica and VSD in France. Year-on-year organic sales remained flat. In the company’s core markets, digital sales increased, accounting for 27% of total sales. Operating EBITDA amounted to €140 million (previous year: €145 million), resulting in an EBITDA margin of 9.7% (previous year: 9.6%).
In Germany, G+J once again saw sales and earnings growth, partly resulting from the launch of numerous innovative magazines. Alongside new gourmet magazine B-EAT, G+J has also defined the personality magazine genre with new titles GUIDO, JWD, and DR. V. HIRSCHHAUSENS STERN GESUND LEBEN. The strong performance of the AppLike marketing platform played a significant role in driving continued growth in digital business. The expansion of the company’s brand business, such as through partnerships with SCHÖNER WOHNEN, also had a positive impact on the company’s performance. Territory, Germany’s leading agency for content-driven communication, achieved significant increases in sales and profits. This more than offset the decline in print advertising and sales, which was moderate by market standards.
G+J France achieved considerable year-on-year growth in its brand business, and the significant increases in sales and profits for digital brands such as VOICI, GALA, and TELE LOISIR more than compensated for declines in the print business. Overall however, G+J France experienced a marked decline in sales and profits. This was primarily due to the winding-down of the digital companies AdVideum and MobValue, together with the sale of the VSD title.
G+J CEO Julia Jäkel: “2018 was another successful year. Our objective is to continue developing our existing strong brands while creating new ones. Last year we achieved this objective, and we are determined to keep doing so into the future.”