Bertelsmann reports strong growth in first-quarter revenues

MUMBAI: International media company Bertelsmann recorded considerable growth in its revenue and operating results for the first quarter of 2006.

Consolidated revenues rose by 17.3 per cent to ?4.5 billion, versus ?3.8 billion in the first three months of 2005. Bertelsmann achieved growth both in its European core markets and in the US.

An essential contributor to this positive performance were the acquisitions made in 2005, which were not yet consolidated in the first quarter of 2005. Adjusted for portfolio and currency effects, revenue was up by 4.5 per cent. Operating EBIT grew by 35.2 per cent to ?215 million (2005: ?159 million), an increase that is attributable to positive business performance in the divisions. Bertelsmann confirms its forecast of a significant year-on-year improvement in revenue and result for fiscal year 2006.

Bertelsmann?s CFO Thomas Rabe said, ?Bertelsmann got off to an excellent start this year. The record first-quarter results continue the positive business development of 2005. Building on this strong foundation, Bertelsmann is well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. We will pursue outside opportunities and continue to rely on healthy core businesses, systematic acquisitions and expansion to new markets.?

Net income nearly doubled year on year, reaching ?90 million after ?48 million in the first quarter of 2005. Investments during the first quarter of 2006 amounted to ?309 million (2005: ?200 million). Economic debt at 31 March 2006 was ?3.9 billion as expected (31 December 2005: ?3.9 billion). The number of employees increased to 89,409 (31 December 2005: 88,516).

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