Bastei Lübbe AG: Stable performance and positive figures after nine months
- Consolidated revenue reaches EUR 72.2 million
- Group EBIT improves to EUR 2.1 million
- New programme strategy forms the basis for profitable growth
Cologne, 14 February 2019 - Bastei Lübbe AG (ISIN DE000A1X3YY0), which is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, published its interim report on the first nine months of the 2018/2019 financial year today. The company made a strong return to profitability in the reporting period. Overall, the publishing house is therefore fully on track in the context of its strategic realignment.
In the period from 1 April to 31 December 2018, the long-established Cologne-based publisher generated revenue of EUR 72.2 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 2.1 million. As part of the restructuring measures started in early 2018, several subsidiaries and portfolio companies, including BuchPartner, BookRix, BEAM Shop and oolipo, were sold. A comparison of the figures with the corresponding prior-year period is therefore only of limited informative value.
Adjusted for the discontinued "Retail" segment (BuchPartner), revenue fell by around 17% due to the programme-related fluctuations in the "Book" (including e-book) and "Games" segments that are typical for the business. Despite the decline in revenue, EBIT adjusted for the discontinued "Retail" segment rose sharply in the reporting period by EUR 2.8 million to EUR 2.1 million (previous year: EUR -0.7 million).
All in all, the company returned to profitability in the reporting period. Group earnings improved significantly from EUR -10.3 million in the previous year to EUR 0.3 million.
Debt was reduced substantially in the reporting period by focusing on core business while successfully implementing an efficiency programme. Compared with the last Group reporting date, net debt (liabilities to banks less cash) declined by EUR 7.7 million, to EUR 22.4 million on 31 December 2018. This debt reduction and the decrease in costs lay the foundation for future profitable growth well above the overall stable development of the sector.
The novel booklets and puzzle magazines, as well as the publishing segments children's and youth books, audio and, in particular, LYX were the clear growth and earnings drivers in the last nine months.
The performance of fiction imprints and non-fiction books was not entirely convincing. Bastei Lübbe took action to remedy this situation in November 2018 by appointing Simon Decot as Head of "Programme Strategy". He is one of the most respected programme managers in the industry. Under his leadership, the divisions are currently being repositioned for the financial years ahead.
Compared to the previous forecast, the Management Board expects consolidated revenue of EUR 90 million for the 2018/2019 financial year (previously EUR 95 million). Despite the expected start-up costs for the efficiency program totalling EUR 2 million and expenses of around EUR 0.5 million for the adjustment of the investment portfolio, the Management Board expects EBIT to remain positive in the current financial year. The Management Board envisages that EBIT for 2018/2019 as a whole will reach at least the lower end of the forecast range from EUR 0.5 million to EUR 2 million if business develops as expected in the final quarter. Current financial planning of the Bastei Lübbe Group now assumes that net debt should be lower than in the previous year (EUR 30.1 million) at around EUR 25 million as at 31 March 2019 (previously: on a par with the previous year).
"After the turbulent previous year, we have been focusing mainly on adjustment and efficiency enhancement in the current financial year. After this year of transition, we are now actively working on our strategy and growth planning. We have identified interesting medium-term options in our market, and are now addressing them in a targeted manner," said Carel Halff, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG.
The interim report on the third quarter of 2018/2019 is available for download at www.luebbe.com.
About Bastei Lübbe AG:
Bastei Lübbe AG is a German publishing house with headquarters in Cologne specialising in the publication of books, audio books and e-books with fiction and popular science content. The company's core business also includes the periodically published puzzle magazines and novel magazines. With its total of twelve publishing houses and imprints, the company group currently offers around 3,600 titles in the areas of fiction, non-fiction as well as books for children and young adults. In the growing segment of hardcover fiction books, the company has been one of the market leaders in Germany for many years. At the same time, Bastei Lübbe is an engine for innovation in the area of digital media and distribution channels, among other things by the production of thousands of audio and eBooks. This includes the stake in the renowned game publisher "Daedalic Entertainment".
With annual sales of approx. 107 million euros (financial year 2017/2018), 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:
Head of Press and Public Relations
Tel.: 0221 / 82 00 28 50
14.02.2019 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.
The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de