Bastei Lübbe AG publishes half-year report 2019/2020: 'The Christmas season will be crucial for a successful financial year'

DGAP-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results
14.11.2019 / 09:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Bastei Lübbe AG publishes half-year report 2019/2020:
"The Christmas season will be crucial for a successful financial year"

  • Bastei Lübbe's business develops according to plan in the first six months of the financial year
  • Positive EBIT of EUR 2.4 million with sales of EUR 43.2 million
  • Successful publications in the Book segment: Top 1 bestseller in fiction, children's books and currently non-fiction
  • Full-year forecast remains unchanged

Cologne, 14 November 2019 - Bastei Lübbe AG (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0), which is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, published its results for the first half of the financial year 2019/2020 today. Accordingly, the business of Bastei Lübbe AG continues to develop according to plan. In the first half-year from 1 April to 30 September 2019, the Group generated revenues of EUR 43.2 million (previous year: EUR 47.4 million). Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved to EUR 2.4 million compared with EUR -0.2 million in the same period of the previous year. The EBIT margin was 5.7 % (previous year: -0.4 %).

"As of today, we can reiterate our revenue and EBIT forecast for the financial year," confirms Ulrich Zimmermann, Chief Financial Officer, and adds: "Net debt was further reduced to EUR 13.5 million (previous year: EUR 17.8 million) at the end of the first half-year. Here we are even better than expected."

Program-dependently, revenues of EUR 34.2 million (previous year: EUR 37.5 million) in the Books segment were below the previous year's level as planned. Due to the improved cost structure, the EBIT of EUR 0.8 million (previous year: EUR 0.1 million) is nevertheless in line with expectations.

"Our program strategy in the Books segment is increasingly focused on clearly defined target groups, such as our New Adult Imprint LYX for young women. So-called world blockbusters, on the other hand, are now more difficult to assess," explains Klaus Kluge, Program, Sales and Marketing Director.

The top title and SPIEGEL top 1 bestseller since summer is Rebecca Gablé's new novel "Teufelskrone", which is the favourite book of the year for many lovers of historical stories.

The "Novel Booklets" segment recorded revenues of EUR 4.1 million (previous year: EUR 5.1 million) and an EBIT of EUR 1.0 million (previous year: EUR 0.4 million) in the first half-year. The revenues of the current financial year are only comparable to a limited extent with those of the previous year, as Bastei Lübbe sold the puzzle division with effect from 31 May 2019. The negative revenue effect from the sale amounted to approximately EUR 0.9 million in the reporting period. The segment EBIT includes EUR 0.4 million of proceeds from the sale of the puzzle division.

In the "Games" segment, the figures are at the lower end of expectations with revenues of EUR 4.8 million (previous year: EUR 4.8 million) and an EBIT of EUR 0.7 million (previous year: EUR -0.7 million). The reason for this is the postponed release date of the game "Year-of-Rain" from August to November. "The games business is particularly dependent on the launch and performance of individual games," explains CEO Carel Halff, CEO of the Cologne-based AG.

Taking into account interest and income taxes, Bastei Lübbe Group's result for the period was EUR 1.1 million, compared with EUR -0.9 million in the previous year. EUR 1.0 million of this was attributable to the shareholders of Bastei Lübbe AG, compared with EUR -1.0 million in the previous year. This translates into earnings per share of EUR 0.07 for the first half-year 2019/2020 compared with EUR -0.08 in the prior-year period.

Good start to the Christmas season
Last week, the publishing house started into the Christmas season with another Spiegel Top 1 title: Marc Friedrich and Matthias Weik: "Der größte Crash aller Zeiten: Wirtschaft, Politik, Gesellschaft. Wie Sie jetzt noch Ihr Geld schützen können".

Just in time for Christmas, the new volume of what is currently the world's most successful children's book series by the US American Jeff Kinney has been published. Many hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic fans, big and small, are waiting longingly for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball".

"The Christmas season and thus the coming weeks are crucial for a successful financial year," says CEO Carel Halff, "now the readers have their say".

For the full financial year, the Executive Board currently expects consolidated revenues of between EUR 85 and 87 million (previous year: EUR 95 million) and a positive EBIT of between EUR 3.5 and 5.3 million (previous year: EUR 2.7 million).

The half-year financial report H1/2019 of Bastei Lübbe AG is available for download on the internet at www.luebbe.com/en/investor-relations/financial-reports/semiannual-reports.

About Bastei Lübbe AG:

Bastei Lübbe AG is a German publishing house with headquarters in Cologne specialised in the publication of books, audio books and e-books with fiction and popular science content. The company's core business also includes the periodically published puzzle magazines and novel magazines. With its total of twelve publishing houses and imprints, the Bastei Lübbe group of companies 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 one of the market leaders in Germany for many years. At the same time, Bastei Lübbe is an engine for innovation in the area of digital media and distribution channels, among other things by the production of thousands of audio and eBooks. This includes the stake in the renowned game publisher "Daedalic Entertainment".
With annual sales of approx. EUR 95 million (financial year 2018/2019), Bastei Lübbe AG is one of 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.com.

Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:
Barbara Fischer
Head of Press and Public Relations
Tel.: +49 221 / 82 00 28 50
E-Mail: barbara.fischer@luebbe.de

14.11.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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