Bastei Lübbe AG on course for success in the first quarter despite COVID-19

DGAP-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results/Quarterly / Interim Statement
13.08.2020 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Press release

Bastei Lübbe AG on course for success in the first quarter despite COVID-19

- Bastei Lübbe starts successfully into the new financial year

- Solid black: EBIT of EUR 1.6 million with sales of EUR 18.5 million

- Increase in profitability: EBIT margin improved to 8.5 %

- Forecast for the full year confirmed

Cologne, 13 August 2020 - Bastei Lübbe AG (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0), listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, today publishes its results for the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year. The group achieved sales of EUR 18.5 million (previous year: EUR 18.9 million) in the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020. Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved to EUR 1.6 million compared to EUR 1.4 million in the same period of the previous year. The EBIT margin increased to 8.5 % (previous year: 7.2 %).

"Concentration on the core business and the adjusted cost structure are helping our publishing house to weather the Corona crisis well. Our measures are already exceeding our expectations," explains Carel Halff, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG.

Both segments are developing well
In the first quarter of the financial year, Bastei Lübbe performed significantly better than the market. The "Book" segment was the main sales driver for the publishing group in this period. Here, sales of EUR 16.7 million were at the same level as in the same quarter last year - despite the shift in the top title by Jeff Kinney " Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure" to the coming quarter. The predecessor title " Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal" was the top-selling title in the first quarter of the previous year.

"We benefit from the full breadth of our programs," says Simon Decot, Director of Programme. "The development of new authors and themes has already led to much noted successes in the trade and among literary audiences," continues Simon Decot. Representative of a large number of other titles are Tina Frennstedt with "Cold Case" at Lübbe or the much celebrated debut of Jasmin Schreiber "Marianengraben", at Eichborn, which is developing into a real steady seller.

Mona Kasten had a great success with "Dream Again" on LYX and in the Quadriga section, Peter Hahne, "Seid ihr noch ganz bei Trost!", Katharina Nocun and Pia Lamberty with the title "Fake Facts". The book "Fake Facts" and its authors were an important part of the necessary discussion in recent weeks about conspiracy theories in times of crisis. At Baum-haus und Boje, the children's and youth books with their popular characters such as Greg, Rupert and Petronella Apfelmus also benefited from the additional demand during the lockdown weeks.

The "Novel Booklets" segment contributed EUR 1.8 million to sales in the first quarter (previous year: EUR 2.2 million). Sales revenues in the current financial year are not comparable with those of the previous year, as Bastei Lübbe sold the puzzle division with effect from 31 May 2019. EBIT in the reporting period amounts to approx. EUR 0.3 million (previous year: EUR 0.8 million). The previous year's EBIT included one-off proceeds from the sale of the puzzle business.

Considering interest and income taxes, the Bastei Lübbe Group's net income for the period was EUR 1.6 million, compared with EUR 0.8 million in the previous year. Of this, EUR 1.2 million is attributable to the shareholders of Bastei Lübbe AG after EUR 0.7 million in the previous year. This results in earnings per share of EUR 0.09 for the first quarter 2020/2021 compared to EUR 0.06 in the same quarter of the previous year.

Debt reduction and agreement with former board members
As of 30 June 2020, net financial assets amounted to EUR 3.0 million. The company thus has a positive balance of cash and cash equivalents and bank liabilities. As of 31 March 2020, net debt amounted to EUR 0.6 million.

Bastei Lübbe terminated the factoring of its digital receivables as of 31 July 2020. The company is comfortably financed via a bank line and the factoring of its receivables from print products.

Subject to the approval of the Annual General Meeting on 15 September 2020, Bastei Lübbe will conclude a settlement with former members of executive bodies for all claims asserted to date. Accordingly, the defendants will pay
EUR 1.27 million to the publisher. If the investigations by the public prosecutor should result in further claims, these can be asserted independently of this. For this reason, no discharge of the former board members is planned for the 2016/2017 financial year in question.

A spirit of optimism and confidence
Sandra Dittert (Director of Marketing/Sales) and Joachim Herbst (CFO) joined Bastei Lübbe on 1 August 2020 and the new Management Board has now fully taken up its work together with Simon Decot (Director of Programme). Following the departure of Carel Halff (CEO) at the Annual General Meeting on 15 September 2020, Joachim Herbst will also take over the spokesman function.

The company is confident about the sales development in the coming months, not only because of the breadth of its program portfolio. A publishing highlight will appear in mid-September: Ken Follett's new novel, "The Evening and the Morning". Retailers and fans reacted enthusiastically to the announcement: the publisher has already received a six-figure number of advance orders to date.

Carel Halff, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG, states: "The strength of our programs in our 12 book publishing houses and in the novel booklets, combined with an efficient back office, allows us to confirm our forecast for the entire fiscal year. We continue to expect sales of between EUR 85 and 90 million and an EBIT of between EUR 5 and 6 million.

Bastei Lübbe AG's quarterly report Q1/2020 is available for download on the Internet at https://www.luebbe.com/en/investor-relations/financial-reports/quarterly-reports.


About Bastei Lübbe AG:

Bastei Lübbe AG is a German publishing house based in Cologne, which specializes in the production of books, audio books and eBooks with fiction and popular science content. The company's core business also includes periodically published novel booklets. With a total of twelve publishing houses and imprints, the group of companies currently has around 3,600 fiction, non-fiction, children's and youth books on offer. In the growing segment of hardcover fiction, the company has been one of the market leaders in Germany for many years. At the same time, Bastei Lübbe is an innovation driver in the field of digital media and exploitation channels, among other things through the production of thousands of audio and eBooks.

With annual sales of approx. EUR 82 million (financial year 2019/2020), 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

13.08.2020 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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