Sales increases despite difficult conditions

DGAP-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results
12.11.2020 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Bastei Lübbe AG publishes half-year report 2020/2021:
Sales increases despite difficult conditions

- Sales increase by 7.3 % to EUR 41.1 million in the first half of the reporting period

- Positive consolidated EBIT of EUR 3.4 million

- Strong improvement in EBIT margin to 8.2 %

- Numerous new publications by top authors such as Ken Follett, Dan Brown or Jeff Kinney for the
  autumn and Christmas business

- Forecast for the full year confirmed

Cologne, 12 November 2020 - Bastei Lübbe AG, listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0), today published its results for the first half of the 2020/2021 financial year. The first six months of the reporting period developed positively despite the very drastic government measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales in the first six months increased by 7.3 % to EUR 41.1 million (previous year: EUR 38.3 million). Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) also improved for the period under review from EUR 1.8 million to EUR 3.4 million. This figure also includes EUR 1.1 million resulting from a settlement with former board members. The EBIT margin was increased to 8.2 % (previous year: 4.7 %).

"Despite the nationwide lockdown at the beginning of our financial year, we were able to increase our sales significantly against the market trend. Here, both our attractive portfolio as well as the exciting new releases in late summer and our above-average market position and expertise in digital playout channels paid off," says Joachim Herbst, spokesman of the Executive Board of Bastei Lübbe AG, explaining the six-month figures.

"Book" segment as main sales driver despite massive restrictions in the book trade
Sales in the "Books" segment were EUR 3.3 million higher than last year (previous year: EUR 34.2 million) at
EUR 37.5 million in the first six months, also due to the strong autumn programme. The segment EBIT also improved in the same period from EUR 0.8 million in the previous year to EUR 2.6 million in the current year.

"In the first half of the year, several of our bestselling authors, including Ken Follett, Dan Brown and Jeff Kinney, have published new books. In addition, there are other attractive new releases that are being received enthusiastically by the market, as well as our highly attractive backlist titles, which also contributed to our success during the lockdown period," explains Joachim Herbst.

The "Novel Booklets" segment contributed sales of EUR 3.6 million in the first half of the year (previous year: EUR 4.1 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. Segment EBIT fell slightly year-on-year from EUR 1.0 million to EUR 0.7 million. The previous year's figure includes proceeds of EUR 0.4 million from the sale of the puzzle division.

The consolidated result from continued and discontinued business units of Bastei Lübbe AG after the first six months is EUR 2.5 million (previous year: EUR 1.1 million). EUR 2.1 million of this is attributable to the shareholders of Bastei Lübbe AG after EUR 1.0 million in the previous year. The earnings per share for the first half year 2020/2021 are therefore EUR 0.16 (previous year: EUR 0.07).

Improvement in equity ratio and income from settlement with former board members
The net financial assets as of 30 September 2020 amount to EUR 0.6 million (31 March 2020: EUR -0.6 million). The company therefore currently has a positive balance of cash and cash equivalents and borrowings. Net financial debt increased from EUR 0.6 million in the previous year to EUR -0.6 million.

Equity increased from EUR 27.4 million to EUR 30.5 million in the same period. As a result, the equity ratio rose by 4.7 percentage points from 39.9 % to 44.6 %.

As part of a settlement with former members of the executive bodies of Bastei Lübbe AG, the Group received a payment of EUR 1.1 million. This is a one-off payment, which has a correspondingly positive effect on the company's results.

Executive Board change fully completed - forecast for the full year confirmed
At the end of the Annual General Meeting on 15 September 2020, the restructuring of the new Executive Board team will be completed with the departure of former CEO Carel Halff. The new executive board team of the Group has already been working together for several months and stands for the successful further development of the company.

The good start into the second half of the financial year due to the convincing autumn programme makes the company confident about the coming months. However, the current situation may change again at any time due to the current sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, which could once again lead to far-reaching restrictions for the book trade.

Joachim Herbst states: "Despite extremely difficult conditions, especially in the first quarter, we have met our financial targets. This makes us confident for the coming months that we will be able to compensate for further pandemic-related restrictions in the future. Thus, we continue to adhere to our forecast, seeing sales at the lower end of the EUR 85 to 90 million range and a positive Group EBIT in a range of EUR 5 to 6 million".

The half-year financial report HY1/2020 of Bastei Lübbe AG is available for download on the Internet at https://www.luebbe.com/en/investor-relations/financial-reports/semiannual-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

12.11.2020 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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