Gruner + Jahr’s financial year 2016 was marked by surging digital business especially in Germany, a press release said Friday (March 31). Despite further portfolio adjustments such as the sale of the publishing businesses in Austria and Spain, revenues remained almost stable and nearly on a par with those of the previous year at EUR 1.580 billion (2015: EUR 1.611 billion). The operating EBITDA rose to EUR 137 million (2015: EUR 131 million) and G+J generated a return of 8.7 per cent in 2016 over 8.1 per cent in 2015.
Julia Jäkel, CEO of G+J, said: “2016 was a strong year. What particularly pleases me is that our approach has gone down so well with our customers – readers as well as advertising partners. We are pursuing our development based around our strong brands, boldly and imaginatively expanding our digital business, and aim to be the most innovative magazine producer.”
Digital business driving sales
Gruner + Jahr’s digital business grew by 48 per cent in Germany and by 36 per cent in total in the core markets. In Germany and France, digital activities now account for around a quarter of revenues. Significantly higher advertising revenues drove this dynamic growth on the branded websites, especially in Germany and at the performance marketer Ligatus. The major G+J websites set new traffic and revenue records last year. While marketing revenues remained stable, sales revenues increased slightly. New magazines launched over the past two years including BARBARA and STERN CRIME as well as offers by Deutsche Medien-Manufaktur contributed to increased revenue.
Jäkel added: “Last year, we achieved a lot, as can be seen from our strong digital growth, stable advertising business, slight growth in distribution business and the excellent business development in France compared to competitors. We have improved our position in all markets that are relevant to us. And we will continue to work on the transformation of Gruner + Jahr.”
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