April 1-15, 2004 Edition

Bertelsmann Says

Random House Revenue

Decline Due to Dollar’s Value

LONDON/03/30/04—Bertelsmann, the parent company of Random House today reported a decline in revenues to 1.78 billion euros in 2003, from 2.0 billion euros in 2002. The company said operating EBITA fell to 147 million euros from 168 million euros. Bertelsmann’s company-wide revenues also declined to 16.8 billion euros from 18.3 billion euros in 2002, but operating EBITA increased 20 percent to 1.23 billion.

Bertelsmann executives said the Random House decline was due almost entirely to euro’s strength against the dollar. Taking the exchange rate out of the equation, revenues and earnings at Random House experienced a slight increase for the year.

Random House Chairman and CEO Peter Olson said in a memo to employees that the company had achieved excellent overall financial strength as a result of a strong sell-through rate. Measuring by that standard, Random House of Canada and the Random House Group, including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and south Africa, experienced a record year.

He said the seven publishing divisions in the U.S. were very profitable and that the first quarter of the year was strong. Olson added that the company is on course to reach its full-year fiscal targets.