Bastei Lübbe AG confirms full-year forecast and achieves further growth with digital products

EQS-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): 9 Month figures/Quarterly / Interim Statement
Bastei Lübbe AG confirms full-year forecast and achieves further growth with digital products
09.02.2023 / 07:30 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Bastei Lübbe AG confirms full-year forecast and achieves further growth with digital products

  • Group revenues of 73.2 million euros in the third quarter of the 2022/2023 fiscal year almost on a par with the previous year
  • Further growth with digital products and the LYX imprint
  • Outlook for the fiscal year as a whole: revenue forecast confirmed, adjusted EBIT of 8 to 9 million euros expected

Cologne, 9 February 2023 – Against the backdrop of a persistently difficult market environment, Cologne-based general-interest publisher Bastei Lübbe (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0) can look back on pleasing performance to date in the current fiscal year 2022/2023, achieving favourable results in its operating business, while at the same time confirming its full-year forecast. Given still muted consumer confidence and substantially higher prices, the Group generated revenues of 73.2 million euros in the period from 1 April to 31 December 2022. Despite the decline of just under 2 percent in revenues over the previous year as a result of macroeconomic conditions, the Executive Board sees its strategic focus as being confirmed. The Group’s largely stable performance is attributable to its generally encouraging Christmas business and further growth in its digital products. In addition, the growth of the LYX imprint, which addresses the New Adults target group with its community-driven business model, far exceeded its own expectations.

Rising costs exerting pressure on Group earnings

Earnings before interest and income taxes (EBIT) were substantially weaker. The decline from EUR 12.1 million in the previous year to EUR 4.8 million reflects increased costs for printing and paper and particularly also the adjustment of the goodwill attributable to the subsidiary smarticular, which had been announced in November. At the same time, personnel costs rose by 1.5 million euros over the previous year to 15.0 million euros. This was due to heightened recruiting and the first-time consolidation in the current fiscal year of the share in Community Editions GmbH, an imprint specialising in the distribution of books by social media artists. It should also be borne in mind that the previous year’s figure had included a dividend of 1.2 million euros distributed by a subsidiary.

“We are satisfied with the Group’s performance to date in the light of the persistently difficult general conditions and can confirm our full-year forecast. I am particularly pleased with the growth of our digital business, especially as we were able to expand again significantly in the digital audio sector and increase revenues by around 16 percent compared to the previous year,” said Soheil Dastyari, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG, commenting on the Group’s performance in the current fiscal year, which continues until the end of March 2023.

With consolidated total assets valued at 105.2 million euros, representing an increase of 0.9 percent compared to 31 March 2022, Bastei Lübbe AG continues to have a very solid financial basis. Following the payment of a record dividend of 5.3 million euros for the 2021/2022 fiscal year, the equity ratio stood at 50.9 percent compared to 54.0 percent at the end of the previous fiscal year, while cash flow from operating activities continues to testify to the Group’s stability. Net financial assets increased in the current fiscal year from 14.2 million euros to 14.8 million euros as of 31 December 2022.

Further growth with digital products

The Book segment generated revenues of around 67.9 million euros in the period under review, thus showing a slight decline over the previous year’s figure of 69.0 million euros. Segment EBIT came to 4.6 million euros, down from 11.3 million euros in the first nine months of 2021. Within this segment, audio business generated a significant 9-percent increase in revenues, with lower revenues from CDs more than made up for by stronger digital business (downloads plus streaming).

“Digital Programme” business with the labels beHEARTBEAT and beTHRILLED also posted a 4 percent increase in revenues. In an interesting development, beHEARTBEAT and beTHRILLED, which were originally launched as ebook-only imprints, now generate almost 20 percent of their revenues with print titles.

The Novel Booklets segment achieved stable revenues of 5.3 million euros in the period from April to December 2022. Segment EBIT felt the effects of a sharp rise in paper and printing prices, as well as higher delivery costs, which it was not possible to fully offset with price adjustments. Accordingly, segment EBIT fell from 0.8 million euros to 0.2 million euros.

LYX imprint popular with the New Adults target group

The community-driven business model of the LYX imprint, which addresses the New Adults target group, is continuing to perform well. Boosted by the innovative “LYX-Pop-up-Tour” event series, which met with an enthusiastic response on the part of young adolescents in five major cities in Germany in the summer and was accompanied by countless social media contributions, the imprint posted further revenue growth. At the end of the third quarter, LYX’s revenues were 57 percent higher than in the previous year.

Outlook confirmed

All in all, the Executive Board is confident that the Group will generate earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in a range of between 6.0 and 7.0 million euros in the year as a whole. The EBIT margin for the current fiscal year, which continues until the end of March, is expected to come between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent. Adjusted for the impairments of 2.0 million euros recognised on goodwill and other intangible assets at smarticular, EBIT should equal 8.0 to 9.0 million euros, accompanied by an EBIT margin of 8.5 to 9.5 percent. As before, Group revenues are expected to reach a range of 90 to 95 million euros.


Bastei Lübbe AG’s quarterly statement on the first nine months of fiscal year 2022/2023 is available on the Internet at https://www.luebbe.com/de/investor-relations/finanzberichte/quartalsberichte.


About Bastei Lübbe AG:

Bastei Lübbe AG is a German general-interest publisher based in Cologne, specialising in the publication of books, audio books and e-books featuring fiction and popular science content. The company’s core business also includes the periodically published novel booklets. With a total of fifteen imprints, the group currently offers several thousand titles in the fields of fiction, non-fiction and children’s and young people’s books. 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 a driver of innovation in digital media and exploitation channels through the production of thousands of audio and e-books among other things.

With annual revenues of around 95 million euros (2021/2022 fiscal year), Bastei Lübbe AG is one of the largest medium-sized companies in the German publishing industry. Its shares have been listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (WKN A1X3YY, ISIN DE000A1X3YY0) since 2013. Further information can be found at www.luebbe.de.


Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:

Barbara Fischer

Head of Press and Public Relations

Phone: +49 (0)221 8200 2850

E-Mail: barbara.fischer@luebbe.de

09.02.2023 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
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