During the first half-year, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for non-recurring effects, increased by 2.3 per cent to €272.9m. A sharp increase in classified ad models was once again the major factor driving this growth.
Among other factors, the planned higher investments in digital growth projects impacted upon the other segments. The EBITDA margin improved slightly during the reporting period from 16.9 per cent to 17.2 per cent. For the whole of 2016, the Executive Board – despite the numerous macroeconomic and political risks – adheres to the forecasts for EBITDA and earnings per share. It slightly adjusts the outlook for group revenue, however, and now expects a stable development instead of the slight growth that was originally forecast. Organically, group revenue grows in the mid-single-digit per cent range.
Dr Mathias Döpfner, chief executive officer of Axel Springer said: “We have further improved our market position by means of targeted acquisitions, such as, most recently, eMarketer in the strategic growth market of the USA as well as in the area of Classified Ad Models. We are confident that our investments in digital growth will increasingly pay off.”
Targeted investments in digital growth
During the first half-year, the group invested in the further development of the digital growth projects Business Insider and Upday as well as in the expansion of the US activities of the Bonial Group. At the same time, Axel Springer expanded the digital business with targeted acquisitions. In the strategic growth market of the USA, the group acquired about 93 per cent of the shares in eMarketer. Axel Springer has thus expanded its portfolio of innovative paid models and strengthened its position with respect to business coverage and information. The transaction was completed in July 2016.
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