May 15 – May 22, 2008 Edition


Profits Rise;

Revenues Decline

Gütersloh/5/12/08–Bertelsmann, the international media company, last week reported strong first quarter fiscal 2008 results. First-quarter operating profits (Operating EBIT) were up by 9.6 percent compared with the previous year. Operating EBIT for the period under review amounted to €217 million (Q1/2007: €198 million). These developments were driven by the continuing positive performance of the major core businesses, which include Random House in the USA and UK. Group net income improved to €35 million (Q1/2007: €-70 million). No break-out figures for Random House were included in the initial report.

Meanwhile, revenues declined by 3.9 percent year-over-year to €4.2 billion. Adjusted for portfolio changes and foreign-exchange effects, revenue decreased 1.7 percent year-over-year. The revenue performance reflected negative foreign-exchange effects due to the Euro’s strength relative to the U.S. dollar and British pound. Revenues were also impacted by declines in sales of physical recordings and revenues at Direct Group in North America.

Adjusted for portfolio changes and foreign-exchange effects, Bertelsmann expects a moderate rise in revenues for 2008. The Company expects operating results for 2008 will be on par or slightly above the high levels seen in 2007. Group net income will be well above 2007 due to fewer special items and lower interest expenditure.

Bertelsmann’s Chief Financial Officer Thomas Rabe said: “We have started the year well in an environment fraught with economic uncertainty. Bertelsmann confirms its full year forecast for 2008.”

Economic debt was €7.35 billion at March 31, 2008 (December 31, 2007: €7.72 billion), putting the Group below its self-imposed ceiling of 3.0 for the Leverage Factor (ratio of economic debt to operating EBITDA).

The number of employees in the Group grew to 103,140 (December 31, 2007: 102,397).

About Bertelsmann AG

Bertelsmann is an international media company encompassing television (RTL Group), book publishing (Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), music (BMG), media services (Arvato), and media clubs (Direct Group) in more than 50 countries. Bertelsmann’s claim is to inspire people around the world with first-class media and communications offerings – entertainment, information and services – and occupy leading positions in its respective markets.

The foundation of Bertelsmann’s success is a corporate culture based on partnership, entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and corporate responsibility. The company strives to bring creative new ideas to market and create value.