Bastei Lübbe AG publishes half-year results for 2014/2015

Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results

14.11.2014 / 08:00

Bastei Lübbe AG publishes half-year results for 2014/2015

- Sales in first half of 2014/2014 of EUR49.2 million and EBIT of EUR1.6 million

- Numerous potential bestsellers promise positive Christmas trading

- Investments in the digital growth strategy contribute to expansion of international media company

Cologne, 14 November 2014. Bastei Lübbe AG, a company listed in the Prime Standard section of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0), has today published its half-year report for 2014/2015. In the period from 1 April to 30 September 2014, the Cologne-based media company achieved sales of EUR49.2 million. Despite a fall of around EUR6.8 million compared to the same period in the previous year (H1 2013/2014: EUR56.0 million), group sales are thus within the bounds of internal plans. The fall in sales is explained by the fact that the first half of 2013/2014 included a high contribution to sales and earnings by the bestseller "Inferno" by Dan Brown, published in May 2013. This accounted for around EUR9 million of sales. There was no such blockbuster in the first half of 2014. The worldwide bestseller "Edge of Eternity" by Ken Follett, released on 16 September, wasn't able to make up for this decrease due to the short sales period to the end of the half-year (30 September). For the first time, Bastei Lübbe prepared IFRS consolidated financial statements in which the 100% shareholding in BEAM GmbH and the majority shareholdings in Daedalic Entertainment GmbH and der BookRix GmbH & Co. KG were consolidated.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR1.6 million in the reporting period (Q2 2013/2014: EUR7.1 million), and are exactly on target. The declining operating result is due to significantly higher material costs compared to the previous year, among other things. Why? Three worldwide bestsellers were published in the first half of the current financial year: Ken Follett's hardback "Edge of Eternity", his paperback "Winter of the World", and the paperback by Dan Brown, "Inferno". The three titles resulted in royalties of more than EUR3.3 million of material costs in the reporting period. Period earnings after taxes for the first half of 2014/2015 amounted to EUR0.2 million compared to EUR4.9 million in the previous year.

The balance sheet total as at 30 September 2014 was EUR119.7 million, compared to EUR107.6 million at 31 March 2014. At EUR51.5 million, the share of equity attributable to shareholders of the parent company as at 30 September 2014 was at the same level as at 31 March 2014 (EUR51.5 million). The dividend distribution of EUR3.7 million in total, made on the basis of a resolution passed by the first ordinary general meeting of Bastei Lübbe AG on 17 September 2014, was largely compensated by the shares of the majority shareholders Daedalic Entertainment und BookRix in the group equity of EUR2.8 million in total, which were reported for the first time. The equity ratio as at the end of the first half of the year was 42.6%, compared to 47.9% as at 31 March 2014. Operating cash flow as at 30 September 2014 was EUR-4.1 million compared to EUR+4.1 million as at 30 September 2013, due to high capital commitment resulting from the increase in the balance sheet items "Inventories" by EUR2.8 million and "Trade receivables" by more than EUR10 million.

In the "books" segment, sales decreased in the first half of 2014/2015 from EUR45.2 million the previous year to EUR35.8 million due to the high contribution to sales made by the Dan Brown bestseller. In the "novel booklets/puzzle magazines" segment, sales increased from EUR5.1 million the previous year to EUR5.2 million in the first half of 2014/2015. The "non-books" segment was able to attain a significant increase in sales by 43.8% to EUR8.2 million (Q2 2013/2014: EUR5.7 million). One reason for the increase in sales is the consolidation of Daedalic Entertainment GmbH; another, however, is the increase in sales by Räder.


Christmas trading is going well for the Bastei Lübbe Group. The Company is represented by numerous bestsellers in the "books" segment in this year's Christmas programme. The following is particularly noteworthy in the hardback sector: Ken Follett with "Edge of Eternity", and in the paperback sector: Ken Follett with "Winter of the World", Dan Brown with "Inferno" and Timur Vermes with "Look Who's Back". The worldwide bestseller "Diary of A Wimpy Kid - The Long Haul" is also being released on 20 November 2014. Christmas trading is also going well in the "non-books" segment, and incoming orders are above target. There is also the fact that Daedalic Entertainment GmbH is releasing four new games in the fourth quarter of the 2014/2015 financial year, which the Executive Board expects will still have a positive effect on the overall result for the current financial year.

The Executive Board also expects a slight increase in sales for the 2014/2015 financial year compared to the previous year. According to the Executive Board's estimations, operating earnings in the current financial year will be slightly below the previous year's level. The reason for this is some early investments in digital internationalisation. Bastei Lübbe succeeded in concluding two important agreements in this regard in the second quarter of 2014/2014 with the acquisition of the BEAM platform and the conclusion of the joint venture agreement in America.

"As already announced in the 2013/2014 annual report, the 2014/2015 financial year is a year of expansion for the Bastei Lübbe Group in which we will continue to push forwards with development into an international media company and, in particular, digital internationalisation. After acquiring the shareholdings in Daedalic Entertainment and BookRix in the first quarter, we took two more pioneering steps by concluding the two agreements in the second quarter. We intend to develop BEAM into one of the leading worldwide platforms for the distribution of digital novel series. Our joint venture in America will guarantee our access to international authors, particularly with regard to series," says Thomas Schierack, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG.

The full report for the first quarter is available online at http://www.luebbe.de/Investor-Relations/_investor_finanzberichte_de.

About Bastei Lübbe AG:
Bastei Lübbe AG is a media company in the form of a publisher. The company is based in Cologne, Germany, and has around 335 employees. Within the scope of its business activity, Bastei Lübbe publishes books, audiobooks, eBooks and digital products with fictional and popular scientific content, as well as periodical magazines in the form of novel booklets and puzzle books. The business activity of Bastei Lübbe also includes the licensing of rights and the development, production and distribution of gift, decorative and merchandising items. Bastei Lübbe has been the market leader almost continuously in the growing fictional hardback sector for many years, and the Company was also number 1 in the area of fictional eBooks in 2013. In 2013, Bastei Lübbe AG celebrated its 60-year anniversary and was listed on the stock exchange. Bastei Lübbe AG shares are listed in the Prime Standard section of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (WKN A1X3YY, ISIN DE000A1X3YY0).

Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:
Barbara Fischer
Head of Press and
Event Marketing
Tel.: 0221 / 82 00 28 50
Email: barbara.fischer@luebbe.de

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