Финансовый отчет компании Axel Springer AG за первый квартал 2012 года

Dr. Mathias Döpfner
Chief Executive Officer
Axel Springer AG
Berlin, May 9, 2012

Dear Employees,

Exactly one week ago we celebrated the 100th birthday of Axel Springer. His spirit of innovation, his entrepreneurial courage and his loyalty to principles continue to inspire us today. The courage and resolve to meet the challenges of the changing times and to shape the nature of that change – these are the defining characteristics of our corporate culture that can essentially be traced back to Axel Springer. The company that he founded in 1946 and built into a leading European media corporation is now undergoing fundamental change. The traditional publishing house, which only ten years ago was still clearly dominated by print media, is now being transformed into one of Europe’s leading integrated multimedia enterprises. In the first quarter we made further progress toward achieving this objective.

We have succeeded in getting off to a good start in the new year. Axel Springer has been able to seamlessly continue the positive development of business enjoyed during the record year of 2011 with significant increases in both revenues and EBITDA. In the first three months we saw Group revenues improve by 7.1 percent to EUR 789.0 million. During the same period our EBITDA gained 7.5 percent to EUR 136.5 million. This is the best result ever posted for a first quarter. At 17.3 percent our EBITDA margin remained at the high level of the first quarter of the previous year.

The ongoing digitization of our activities has contributed significantly to these pleasant developments. In the first quarter our digital business generated one-third of our Group revenues while it also accounted for over half of total advertising revenues. Our quarterly figures confirm and reinforce our conviction that we can grow profitably in the digital world with the right strategy. The EBITDA margin of our digital media improved by 5 percentage points to 17.8 percent. This is an enormous leap within only one year. At the same time we have not neglected our print business. Instead, we have made targeted investments in our strong brands. The segments Newspapers National and Magazines National were again able to improve their high margins over the first quarter of the previous year. Only the Print International segment saw revenues and earnings decline as the result of deteriorating economic conditions in certain important international markets.

We have systematically pushed ahead with our digitization strategy in the past months. Under the umbrella of Axel Springer Digital Classifieds, our joint venture with General Atlantic announced in March, we were able to realize a first major acquisition. With the purchase of the Totaljobs Group, which operates the largest online recruitment portal in the UK, our European job search portal StepStone will achieve the clear leading position in this market as well.

Following our positive start in the new year we will continue to build upon our strengths in the coming months. We will succeed only through focus and vigilance. Because future success will not come automatically. We have big plans for 2012. And I am looking forward to working with you to achieve our ambitious goals.

Mathias Döpfner

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