Bastei Lübbe AG reports further positive development in its core business

DGAP-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): 9 Month figures/Quarterly / Interim Statement
11.02.2021 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Bastei Lübbe AG reports further positive development in its core business

  • Successful autumn publishing programme drives positive business development
  • Sales increase to EUR 70.8 million
  • EBIT rises by 108 percent to EUR 7.5 million
  • Increased full-year forecast confirmed

Cologne, 11.02.2021. The trade publisher Bastei Lübbe AG (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0) today published its earnings for the first nine months of the 2020/2021 financial year. In the period from 1 April to 31 December 2020, the Group increased its consolidated sales by 13.9 percent to EUR 70.8 million (previous year: EUR 62.1 million) despite the difficult general conditions.This pleasing development resulted from the very good Christmas season with new releases from bestselling authors such as Ken Follett and Dirk Rossmann, as well as growing sales from eBooks and digital audio formats.

Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved to EUR 7.5 million in the reporting period compared with EUR 3.6 million in the prior-year period. EBIT includes the non-recurring income from the legal settlement with the former executive bodies in the amount of EUR 1.1 million. When comparing with the previous year, it should be noted that the previous period also included income from the disposal of the puzzle division in the amount of EUR 0.4 million outside normal business operations. The EBIT margin is 10.7% (previous year: 5.8%).

"The current figures support our strategy and our focus on inspiring content in both the print and digital formats. Despite a difficult environment for stationary sales channels, we were nevertheless able to successfully reach readers with our autumn publishing programme," says Joachim Herbst, Spokesman of the Executive Board of Bastei Lübbe. "Sales growth goes hand in hand with higher profitability, although the result also includes one-off effects."

Growing "Books" segment

Sales of EUR 65.4 million in the "Book" segment are significantly above the previous year's figure of EUR 56.2 million. Segment EBIT improved to EUR 6.5 million in the current financial year, following EBIT of EUR 2.3 million in the same period of the previous year.

The "Novel Booklets" segment generated sales of EUR 5.4 million in the first nine months of 2020/2021, compared with EUR 6.0 million in the previous year. The sales revenues of the current fiscal year are only comparable with those of the previous year to a limited extent, as Bastei Lübbe AG sold the puzzle division with effect from May 31, 2019. The segment EBIT in the reporting period is EUR 1.1 million after EUR 1.3 million in the previous year.

Sound balance sheet structure allows for acquisitions

Compared to 31 March 2020, the consolidated balance sheet total increased by EUR 7.4 million from EUR 68.6 million to EUR 76.0 million. Net assets improved to EUR 8.2 million in the reporting period (31 March 2020: EUR -0.6 million). The equity ratio is 43.6 percent (31 March 2020: 39.9 percent).

By notarized agreement dated 22 December 2020 and with financial effect as of 01 January 2021, Bastei Lübbe AG acquired 100 percent of the shares in Business Hub Berlin UG, based in Berlin. The company operates the publishing house "smarticular", which specializes in sustainability, as well as the sustainability platforms www.smarticular.net and www.kostbarenatur.net.

At the beginning of January 2021, Bastei Lübbe entered into new credit agreements for a working capital line and acquisition financing with two well-known credit institutions. The agreements have a term until 31 December 2024 and 31 December 2025 respectively.

Adjusted full year forecast confirmed

The Executive Board now anticipates consolidated sales of around EUR 90 million in the current financial year. Group EBIT is expected to range between EUR 7 and 8 million. The increase in the EBIT forecast is due to the earnings contribution from higher sales and the effects of cost-cutting measures. Notwithstanding this, the measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic continue to pose a risk that is difficult to quantify.

"The pandemic mitigation measures continue to pose significant challenges to us and our distribution partners. However, we will continuously work to support our distribution partners with creative and innovative ideas," Herbst added. "However, we are also very pleased to see that during the crisis, our content, developed and told with a lot of heart and soul, is being received with great enthusiasm by our readers."

Bastei Lübbe AG's quarterly statement for the first nine months of the 2020/2021 financial year 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 13 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 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

11.02.2021 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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