Bertelsmann Media Group Records Six Percent Gain
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ German media group Bertelsmann said Wednesday its earnings jumped 6.1 for its fiscal year ended June 30, despite higher paper prices, swings in the currency markets and muted consumer spending in Germany.
The world’s second-largest media company, after New York-based Time-Warner Inc., earned 805 million marks ($555.2 million) from 759 million marks last year.
Sales for the year were 20.6 billion marks ($14.2 billion), up from 18.4 million marks a year ago.
U.S. sales rose 11 percent to 5 billion marks ($3.4 billion). The company noted its operation of Bantam Doubleday Dell publishing group, with several bestsellers, as especially successful.
Bertelsmann group total overseas sales rose 14 percent to 13 billion marks ($9 billion).
The company called its growth in sales and earnings ``generally satisfactory,″ and chairman Frank Woessner projected Bertelsmann’s worldwide group consolidated sales will grow about 10 percent in the upcoming year.
To compete with Microsoft’s planned venture into on-line services via its Windows applications, Bertelsmann intends to spend at least 100 million marks ($69 million) over the next two or three years to expand its new European on-line joint venture with America Online, Woessner said.