Bastei Lübbe AG records double-digit growth in its core business in the first nine months of the 2017/2018 financial year
- Growth of 27.3% in "Book" core segment
- Revenue in "Digital" segment increases by 52.5%
- Revised outlook for full-year 2017/2018 confirmed: Revenue of EUR 140 million and EBITDA of around EUR 5 million.
Cologne, 21 February 2018. Bastei Lübbe AG (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0) today published its interim report on the first nine months of the 2017/2018 financial year. Carel Halff, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG, says the results paint a varied picture: "Our core business is strong and growing. The figures clearly illustrate how well our titles are performing with the public, with our global best-selling authors Ken Follett and Dan Brown leading the way. Unfortunately, the figures also show that we had to absorb some significant non-recurring and one-time effects and that we need to improve our efficiency on the whole. We are now working to achieve this."
In the period from 1 April to 31 December 2017, the Cologne-based media group generated revenue of around EUR 112.7 million after EUR 115.7 million in the same period of the previous year. Adjusted for the discontinued "Non-Book" segment (Räder), consolidated revenue increased by 12% year-on-year. The "Book" and "Digital" segments recorded substantial revenue growth, whereas revenue in the "Retail" segment was down considerably on the previous year. Group EBITDA declined to EUR 5.1 million in the period under review after EUR 9.3 million in the previous year. Adjusted for discontinued operations, EBITDA decreased by EUR 1 million due to weak business performance in the "Retail" segment and additional write-downs on royalties.
The core business of book publishing enjoyed substantially positive year-on-year development in the first nine months of the 2017/2018 financial year. The "Book" segment of Bastei Lübbe AG increased its revenue by 27.3%, from EUR 54.6 million to EUR 69.5 million. This positive performance was primarily attributable to the latest best-sellers by the star authors Dan Brown and Ken Follett, which were ranked first and second on the German book market in terms of sales in 2017, as well as the higher revenue generated by the LYX label.
EBITDA in the "Book" segment declined from EUR 4.7 million in the previous year to EUR 3.3 million in the first nine months of 2017/2018. This was due to additional write-downs on prepaid royalties in the amount of EUR 4.5 million. As reported previously, the method of assessments has changed. To date, the recoverability of prepaid royalties has been assessed on a title-by-title basis. In future, the assessment will be performed schematically on the basis of a significantly more restrictive method developed in conjunction with the auditor.
Revenue in the "Digital" segment increased by 52.5% year-on-year, from EUR 6.3 million to EUR 9.6 million. The main growth driver was the subsidiary Daedalic with its successful games "Shadow Tactics" and "The Pillars of the Earth". EBITDA improved from EUR -0.1 million in the previous year to EUR 2.4 million in the current financial year.
By contrast, revenue in the "Retail" segment declined significantly as against the previous year. The BuchPartner revenue reported in this segment amounted to around EUR 26.2 million in the period under review after EUR 32.5 million in the previous year. This significant decrease of 19.3% was mainly due to a downturn in promotions business accompanied by an increase in the overall number of returns. The reduction in revenue and an above-average increase in logistics costs meant that EBITDA declined from EUR 0.4 million to EUR -2.0 million.
Revenue in the "Novel Booklets and Puzzle Magazines" segment increased slightly, from EUR 7.4 million in the previous year to EUR 7.5 million in the period under review. EBITDA rose from EUR 1.4 million to EUR 1.6 million in the same period.
Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) declined to around EUR -8.7 million in the first nine months of the financial year compared with EUR 2.6 million in the same period of the previous year. The unscheduled write-downs on oolipo's intangible assets in the amount of EUR 3 million that were already recognised in the second quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year were accompanied by additional unscheduled write-downs on assets totalling EUR 6.3 million as at 31 December 2017.
The Management Board is confirming the revised forecast it announced on 1 February 2018, with revenue for the 2017/2018 financial year expected to amount to around EUR 140 million based on the current state of knowledge. It should be noted that the discontinuation of the "Non-Book" segment is responsible for a shortfall in revenue of around EUR 15 million compared with the previous year.
The Management Board is forecasting EBITDA of around EUR 5 million and negative EBIT of around EUR 11 million.
The full interim report on the third quarter of 2017/2018 is available at https://www.luebbe.com/en/investor-relations/financial-reports.
About Bastei Lübbe AG:
Bastei Lübbe AG is an internationally active media group with headquarters in Cologne. Its business activities primarily focus on the development and licencing of contents which are sold worldwide in physical and digital formats. The core business of the company in the book segment covers classic publishing and periodically published puzzle magazines and novels. With its total of twelve publishing houses and imprints, the company group currently offers around 3,600 titles in the areas of fiction, non-fiction as well as books for children and young adults. In the growing segment of hardcover fiction books, the company has been the market leader in Germany for many years. At the same time, Bastei Lübbe is an engine for innovation in the area of digital media. Apart from the production of thousands of audio and ebooks, the "digital" business unit also maintains participations in the self-publishing platform "BookRix" and the renowned game publisher "Daedalic Entertainment". The digital value-added chain of Bastei Lübbe AG is rounded off through its participation in the online shop "beam-ebooks.de" as well as the new and unique international entertainment platform "oolipo".
With annual sales of approx. 146 million euros (financial year 2016/2017), Bastei Lübbe AG is one the largest medium-sized publishing companies in Germany. The shares of the company have been listed in the Prime Standard segment on the Frankfurt stock exchange (GSIN A1X3YY, ISIN DE000A1X3YY0) since 2013. Further information is available at www.luebbe.de.
Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:
Head of Press and Public Relations
Tel.: 0221 / 82 00 28 50
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