Ger­many’s Axel Springer re­ports profit fall af­ter failed FT bid

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Ger­man media gi­ant Axel Springer, lick­ing its wounds af­ter a failed drive to buy the Fi­nan­cial Times, re­ported a steep drop in sec­ond-quar­ter earn­ings Tues­day due largely to one-off ef­fects.

The Ber­lin-based pub­lisher of Europe’s top-selling news­pa­per Bild said that net profit plunged 93 per­cent dur­ing the March-to-June pe­riod com­pared with one year ago, fall­ing to 48.8 mil­lion eu­ros (US$53.5 mil­lion) from 681.6 mil­lion eu­ros.

A com­pany spokesman told AFP that the sharp de­cline this year was largely in com­par­i­son to a wind­fall seen in 2014 from the un­load­ing of sev­eral Ger­man re­gional news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines to the Funke Me­di­en­gruppe as well as some oper­a­tions in the Czech Re­pub­lic.

Sec­ond-quar­ter sales climbed seven per­cent to 796.7 mil­lion eu­ros as the com­pany piv­oted to­ward dig­i­tal ac­tiv­i­ties.

“In the first half of the year, we con­tin­ued to in­vest heav­ily in dig­i­tal busi­ness mod­els at home and abroad,” chief ex­ec­u­tive Mathias Doepfner said in a state­ment.

“The strong or­ganic growth of our dig­i­tal ac­tiv­i­ties con­firmed our strate­gic di­rec­tion. We ex­pect sig­nif­i­cant growth in earn­ings for the full year 2015.”

Axel Springer last month lost what was re­port­edly a year-long drive to buy the Fi­nan­cial Times to Ja­panese ri­val Nikkei, which out­bid it with a US$1.3 bil­lion of­fer.

De­spite the crush­ing set­back, the com­pany founded af­ter World War II has said it would press ahead with an ag­gres­sive ac­qui­si­tion strat­egy to bol­ster its in­ter­na­tional pro­file, par­tic­u­larly in dig­i­tal media.

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