Bastei Lübbe with sharp increase in profitability and fur-ther strong revenue growth in the first half of 2023/2024
EQS-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Half Year Report
Bastei Lübbe with sharp increase in profitability and further strong revenue growth in the first half of 2023/2024
Cologne, 9 November 2023. Bastei Lübbe AG, a general-interest publishing group listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0), is continuing on its successful business trajectory, growing significantly again in the second quarter of its 2023/2024 financial year and achieving further increases in profitability. This is also reflected in the half-year figures. In the period from April to September 2023, the publishing group posted Group revenues of €51.0 million, up from €44.1 million in the same period of the previous year, equivalent to an increase of 15.6 percent. Group EBIT rose significantly to €6.1 million in the first half of 2023/2024, up from €0.9 million in the previous year.
Growth driven by attractive range of fiction, LYX new adult titles and audio
In an environment still characterised by muted macroeconomic conditions and high inflation, Bastei Lübbe AG performed very well in the first half of 2023/2024. Revenues in the “Book” segment climbed by 16.1 percent to €47.2 million (previous year: €40.7 million). For one thing, this was underpinned by the continued strong performance of the LYX imprint and its range for young adults with growth of 27 percent, as well as the audio business, which expanded by 20 percent. For another, the strong autumn/winter fiction programme including the bestsellers “The Weapons of Light” by Ken Follett and “Das dritte Herz des Oktopus” by Dirk Rossmann and Ralf Hoppe, which were released in September, also was an important factor. Segment EBIT climbed from €0.9 million in the previous year to €5.7 million in the period under review, primarily as a result of the good revenue performance.
The proportion of revenues contributed by the community-driven business models widened to 33 percent in the first half of 2023/2024, up from 31 percent in the same period of the previous year. At 32 percent, the share of digital business in revenues was unchanged over the previous year.
In the “Novel Booklets” segment, revenues of €3.8 million were generated in the period under review, compared with €3.5 million in the previous year. In addition to increased prices and special editions to mark John Sinclair’s 50th anniversary, this performance reflected higher digital and e-commerce revenues. At €0.4 million, segment EBIT was up on the previous year (€0.0 million) in the first half of the financial year. In addition to the higher revenues, this was also due to lower paper and printing costs.
Soheil Dastyari, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG: “Even in difficult times, we maintained our course and continued on our strategic path. This is now paying off and is already evident in all relevant parameters for the first half of the year. We remain committed to inspiring entertainment, strong communities and high-quality digital products and are therefore optimistic about the year as a whole.”
Sharp improvement in profitability
Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came to €6.1 million in the period from April to September (previous year: €0.9 million). The EBIT margin increased to 11.9 percent, up from 2.1 percent in the same period of the previous year. The previous year’s figures had included an impairment of €2.0 million on the carrying amount of the subsidiary smarticular. Adjusted for these expenses, EBIT would have amounted to €2.9 million in the previous year with an EBIT margin of 6.6 percent. Earnings before taxes (EBT) came to €5.7 million in the first half of 2023/2024 (previous year: €0.9 million). Consolidated net profit for the period reached €3.9 million (previous year: €0.1 million). Accordingly, earnings per share improved to €0.29, up from €0.01 in the previous year.
As of 30 September 2023, total Group assets stood at €105.1 million, down from €107.9 million as of 31 March 2023. At €56.5 million on 30 September 2023, the share of equity attributable to the equity holders of the parent company was slightly higher than on 31 March 2023 (€54.8 million). This reflects opposing effects from the net profit for the period on the one hand and the dividend distribution in September 2023 on the other.
Upbeat outlook for the year as a whole
Despite the persistently challenging macroeconomic conditions, the Executive Board expects a continuation of the company’s favourable business performance thanks to the well-filled roster featuring many attractive new releases. Group revenues are now expected to reach the top end of the published range of €100 – 105 million (previous year: €100.0 million). EBIT is now seen in a range of €10 – 11 million (previous year: €7.2 million). In its original forecast for the 2023/2024 financial year, the Executive Board had projected EBIT in a range of €9 – 10 million.
With its products in various entertainment formats, titles for all age groups and a wide variety of media channels as well as its strong foothold in digital business and community offerings, Bastei Lübbe is well positioned to face the still challenging market conditions. This will be aided by attractive new releases in the second half of the year, including the new instalment in the “Diaries of a Wimpy Child” children’s series by top-selling US author Jeff Kinney, the novel “Yellowface” by Rebecca F. Kwang at Eichborn, which topped The Sunday Times best seller list, and new releases by the LYX authors Mona Kasten, Laura Kneidl, Sarah Sprinz and Lena Kiefer. On top of this, Community Editions has announced new titles by Paluten, Arazhul and ViktoriaSarina. Growth in the audiobook sector is set to be spurred by additional production capacities.
Bastei Lübbe AG’s financial report on the first six months of the 2023/2024 financial year is available at https://bastei-luebbe.de/en.
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 €100 million (2022/2023 financial 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.bastei-luebbe.de.
Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:
|Company:||Bastei Lübbe AG|
|Schanzenstraße 6 – 20|
|Phone:||02 21 / 82 00 - 0|
|Fax:||02 21 / 82 00 - 1900|
|Listed:||Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange|
|EQS News ID:||1768757|
|End of News||EQS News Service|