Hamburg, 29 March 2017 - Gruner + Jahr's financial year 2016 was characterized by a growth surge in its digital business, especially in Germany; by the founding of new companies such as Deutsche Medien-Manufaktur and TERRITORY, Germany's largest content communications provider; and by the continuation of its innovation strategy in the magazine business. So despite further portfolio adjustments - the sale of the publishing businesses in Austria and Spain - the Hamburg-based publisher managed to keep its revenues near-stable. Earnings rose without slowing the pace of investment in the transformation. Gruner + Jahr was able to consolidate its position as the most innovative and creative publisher last year.
While revenues remained nearly on par with the previous year at €1.580 billion (2015: €1.611 billion), operating EBITDA rose to €137 million (2015: €131 million). G+J generated a return of 8.7 percent last year (2015: 8.1 percent).
Gruner + Jahr's digital business grew by 48 percent in Germany and by 36 percent in total in the core markets. In Germany and France, digital activities now account for around a quarter of revenues. This dynamic growth was driven by significantly higher advertising revenues on the branded websites, especially in Germany and at the performance marketer Ligatus. G+J also launched the multichannel video network CLUB OF COOKS in Germany and expanded its e-commerce activities with the SCHÖNER WOHNEN shop. There were also in-house developments - such as the marketing platform AppLike - as well as acquisitions, including the takeover of the technology company LiquidM. In France, Prisma Media acquired Groupe Cerise, one of the country's leading digital video providers, securing its market leadership among publishers in terms of video views. The major G+J websites set new traffic and revenues records last year. Gruner + Jahr occupies top positions in the Women, Food, Living and Family genres. GALA.DE improved in the people segment and STERN.DE is one of Germany's leading news sites.
G+J Germany grew its revenues and earnings. Marketing revenues were stable and sales revenues increased slightly. The newly launched magazines of the past two years - including BARBARA and STERN CRIME - and Deutsche Medien-Manufaktur offers also contributed to the growth in revenues. The company, a joint venture with the publishing company Landwirtschaftsverlag, successfully launched two new magazines, ESSEN & TRINKEN MIT THERMOMIX® and WOLF.
TERRITORY, which was Germany's leading content communication service provider as soon as it launched, contributed to G+J Germany's revenue growth through its investment in the Webguerillas digital agency, as did DPV Deutscher Pressevertrieb, which expanded its market position by acquiring Axel Springer Vertriebsservice. Gruner + Jahr e|MS teamed up with the RTL Group subsidiary IP Deutschland to
form the Ad Alliance for cross-media marketing concepts, which increased its relevance in the advertising market.
G+J CEO Julia Jäkel: "2016 was a strong year. What particularly pleases me is that our approach has gone down so well with our customers - readers as well as advertising partners. We are pursuing our development based around our strong brands, boldly and imaginatively expanding our digital business, and aim to be the most innovative magazine producer. Last year, we achieved a lot, as can be seen from our strong digital growth, stable advertising business, slight growth in distribution business and the excellent business development in France compared to competitors. We have improved our position in all markets that are relevant to us. And we will continue to work on the transformation of Gruner + Jahr."
Executive Vice President
20444 Hamburg, Germany
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