Axel Springer eyes new buys on increased profits
The Axel Springer group, the biggest newspaper publisher in Europe, reported a six-fold rise in first-half net profit on Wednesday in a strong second-quarter performance.
CEO Mathias Döpfner also said the group might take advantage of low media share prices due to turbulence on financial markets, to take over further businesses.
The group, whose flagship newspaper is Bild, reported a 44.8 percent increase in underlying operating profit in the quarter and stood by its targets for the whole of the year.
The group said the profit rise had been achieved despite a difficult business environment, attributing part of its success to dynamic international operations which it has strengthened by acquisitions over the last few years.
Net profit for the first half of the year rose by slightly more than six times to €526.2 million ($785.2 million), boosted by the sale of the groups 12 percent interest in Pro Sieben Sat 1 television to the KKR and Permira investment funds.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the second quarter rose by 44.8 percent to €135.2 million.
Döpfner said that the group had "defied market conditions."
The group said that sales in the first half had risen by 11.1 percent on a 12-month comparison, to €1.34 billion, due to a sharp rise in advertising sales and a rise in prices for some of the top publications.