On course for further growth: Axel Springer off to a good start in 2018

Source: Axel Springer in English

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Adjusted EBITDA is growing organically at a rate of 6.7 percent / Revenue increase of 6.9 percent / All operating segments with increases / Digital media are growing organically at a rate of 9.5 percent and account for 80.3 percent of the adjusted Group EBITDA / Full-year forecast confirmed
Axel Springer started the financial year 2018 with a good first quarter. The Group achieved increases in revenue and earnings in all operating segments. The driving factors were again the digital business models, in particular Classifieds Media. In the first three months digital activities generated organic growth of 9.5 percent, thereby contributing 70.1 percent of Group revenue in accordance with the new accounting standard IFRS 15. They even accounted for 80.3 percent of adjusted Group EBITDA. Overall, the Group increased revenues in the first quarter by 6.9 percent to EUR 773.5 million (PY: EUR 723.5 million). Organically, which means adjusted for consolidation and currency effects, the increase was 4.7 percent compared to the prior year period.
During the first three months of the year, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for non-recurring effects, increased considerably by 16.3 percent to EUR 171.2 million (PY: EUR 147.2 million). All three operating segments contributed to this increase in earnings. Organically, Group EBITDA grew by 6.7 percent in the reporting period. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 22.1 percent (PY: 20.3 percent).
The Group further developed its position as a digital growth company in the first quarter of 2018. The Executive Board confirm their full-year forecast for 2018. On the revenue side it expects a rise in the low to mid single-digit percentage range. This growth in earnings is also going to be achieved organically. The Group expects adjusted EBITDA to rise by a figure in the low double-digit percentage range. For adjusted earnings per share, Axel Springer expects an increase in the low to mid single-digit percentage range. Organically, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share are expected to increase in the mid to high single-digit percentage range.
Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, comments: “We have used our digital strengths successfully again in the first quarter. The Classifieds Media have become established as a profitable growth driver. Our journalistic products have also clearly improved.”
The average number of employees at Axel Springer rose in the first quarter by 3.4 percent to 16,123 (PY: 15,598).
Consolidated net income well above the prior year
The consolidated net income, adjusted for non-recurring effects and depreciations due to purchase price allocations, increased in the first quarter by 3.7 percent to EUR 80.9 million (PY: EUR 78.1 million). Axel Springer therefore achieved adjusted earnings per share of EUR 0.63 compared to EUR 0.62 in the prior year. This amounts to an increase of 0.7 percent, whilst the organic growth was 2.2 percent. Unadjusted consolidated net income increased considerably in the reporting period by 79 percent to EUR 84.7 million (PY: EUR 47.3 million). The primary contributor to this increase was the one-time effect from the transfer of the Axel-Springer high-rise in Berlin to the Axel Springer Pensionstreuhandverein. Non-adjusted earnings per share increased from EUR 0.36 in the prior year period to EUR 0.69.
Free cash flow growing strong
During the first quarter, Axel Springer increased its free cash flow, excluding the effects of real estate transactions at the company locations, by 31.0 percent to EUR 127.4 million (PY: EUR 97.2 million). This increase was partly due to the change in the recognition of rental payments as a result of the new lease accounting. Net debt amounted to EUR 1,391.8 million as of March 31, 2018 (December 31, 2017: EUR 1,020.2 million). The decisive factor here was the higher leasing liabilities due to the first-time application of the new lease accounting and the leasing of the Axel-Springer-Passage and the Axel-Springer high-rise. Of the existing long-term credit lines of EUR 1,200.0 million, EUR 389.2 million was utilized by the end of March (December 31, 2017: EUR 365.0 million). At the end of the quarter, the equity ratio was 42.4 percent (compared with 43.5 percent in the first quarter 2017).
During the first quarter Doğan Holding initiated the sale of all media activities to the Turkish media group Demirören. In this context, Axel Springer has agreed with the Doğan Holding on an early exercisability of the put options for an amount of EUR 160 million for their around 7 percent shares in Doğan. Originally, Axel Springer had expected a sale in 2020/2022. The agreement is subject to the conditions precedent of the sale of the Doğan TV shares to Demirören and the unchanged bank guarantee for the put options.
Revenue and earnings are growing in all operating segments
The Classifieds Media segment increased revenues in the first three months by 16.2 percent to EUR 290.2 million (PY: EUR 249.7 million). This was attributable primarily to organic growth of 11.3 percent which came mainly from the job portals. Following the acquisition of Logic-Immo by SeLoger, consolidation effects from the integration of French real estate portal were also reflected. The adjusted EBITDA from the segment increased substantially by 11.4 percent to EUR 112.6 million (PY: EUR 101.1 million). Organically, the increase amounted to 5.8 percent. With an adjusted EBITDA margin of 38.8 percent (PY: 40.5 percent) the Classifieds Media remained highly profitable despite capital expenditure for future growth.
The News Media segment also had a good start this year. Revenues in the segment increased by 1.7 percent in the first quarter to EUR 351.5 million (PY: EUR 345.7 million). This was attributed in particular to the continuing dynamic growth in the digital activities, especially foreign digital activities. The organic development of BUSINESS INSIDER was particularly positive. Furthermore, there were gratifying increases in advertising revenues, both in national and international business. BILD also contributed to this, stating higher print advertising revenues in the first quarter than in the prior year period. The adjusted EBITDA from News Media increased by 11.0 percent to EUR 49.4 million (PY: EUR 44.5 million). Organically, adjusted EBITDA was 1.6 percent below the prior year. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 14.1 percent compared with 12.9 percent in the prior year period.
Revenues in the Marketing Media segment increased in the reporting period by 5.0 percent to EUR 118.1 million (PY: EUR 112.5 million). Adjusted for consolidation and currency effects, revenues were 1.9 percent higher than in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA from the segment recorded significant growth of 55.8 percent, reaching EUR 23.6 million (PY: EUR 15.1 million). In addition to substantial organic growth (32.7 percent) due to the discontinuation of US business at Bonial as well as improved earnings at aufeminin and finanzen.net in the area of reach-based marketing, the consolidation effects in the performance marketing subsegment also contributed to this growth. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the segment increased to 19.9 percent, compared with 13.4 percent for the prior year period.

MIL OSI

Weiter auf Wachstumskurs: Axel Springer mit gutem Start in das Jahr 2018

Source: Axel Springer

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Bereinigtes EBITDA wächst organisch um 6,7 Prozent / Umsatzplus von 6,9 Prozent / Alle operativen Segmente mit Zuwächsen / Digitale Medien wachsen organisch um 9,5 Prozent und liefern 80,3 Prozent des bereinigten Konzern-EBITDA / Gesamtjahresprognose bestätigt
Axel Springer ist mit einem guten ersten Quartal in das Geschäftsjahr 2018 gestartet. Der Konzern erzielte in allen operativen Segmenten Umsatz- und Ergebniszuwächse. Treibender Faktor waren erneut die digitalen Geschäftsmodelle, insbesondere die Rubrikenangebote. In den ersten drei Monaten erwirtschafteten die digitalen Aktivitäten ein organisches Wachstum von 9,5 Prozent und lieferten damit 70,1 Prozent der Konzernerlöse unter Berücksichtigung des neuen Rechnungslegungsstandards IFRS 15. Ihr Anteil am bereinigten Konzern-EBITDA belief sich sogar auf 80,3 Prozent. Insgesamt steigerte der Konzern den Umsatz im ersten Quartal um 6,9 Prozent auf EUR 773,5 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 723,5 Mio.). Organisch, d.h. konsolidierungs- und währungsbereinigt, lag der Zuwachs gegenüber dem Vorjahreszeitraum bei 4,7 Prozent.
Das um Sondereffekte bereinigte Ergebnis vor Zinsen, Steuern und Abschreibungen (EBITDA) nahm in den ersten drei Monaten des Geschäftsjahres um 16,3 Prozent auf EUR 171,2 Mio. deutlich zu (Vj.: EUR 147,2 Mio.). Alle drei operativen Segmente trugen zu diesem Ergebnisanstieg bei. Organisch wuchs das Konzern-
EBITDA im Berichtszeitraum um 6,7 Prozent. Die bereinigte EBITDA-Rendite erhöhte sich auf 22,1 Prozent (Vj.: 20,3 Prozent).
Der Konzern baute seine Position als digitales Wachstumsunternehmen im ersten Quartal 2018 weiter aus. Der Vorstand bestätigt seine Prognose für das Gesamtjahr 2018. Diese geht erlösseitig von einem Anstieg im niedrigen bis mittleren einstelligen Prozentbereich aus. Dieses Erlöswachstum soll auch organisch erzielt werden. Für das bereinigte EBITDA erwartet der Konzern einen Anstieg im niedrigen zweistelligen Prozentbereich. Für das bereinigte Ergebnis je Aktie rechnet Axel Springer mit einem Zuwachs im niedrigen bis mittleren einstelligen Prozentbereich. Organisch werden das bereinigte EBITDA und das bereinigte Ergebnis pro Aktie voraussichtlich im mittleren bis hohen einstelligen Prozentbereich zulegen.
Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Axel Springer SE: „Wir haben unsere digitalen Stärken im ersten Quartal erneut erfolgreich umgesetzt. Die Classifieds Media haben sich als profitabler Wachstumstreiber etabliert. Daneben zeigen auch unsere journalistischen Angebote eine deutlich positive Entwicklung.“
Die durchschnittliche Zahl der Mitarbeiter von Axel Springer stieg im ersten Quartal um 3,4 Prozent auf 16.123 (Vj.: 15.598).
Konzernüberschuss deutlich über Vorjahr
Der um Sondereffekte und Abschreibungen aus Kaufpreisallokationen bereinigte Konzernüberschuss erhöhte sich im ersten Quartal um 3,7 Prozent auf EUR 80,9 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 78,1 Mio.). Damit erzielte Axel Springer ein bereinigtes Ergebnis je Aktie von EUR 0,63 gegenüber EUR 0,62 im Vorjahr. Dies entspricht einem Anstieg von 0,7 Prozent, das organische Wachstum lag bei 2,2 Prozent. Der unbereinigte Konzernüberschuss stieg im Berichtszeitraum deutlich um 79 Prozent auf EUR 84,7 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 47,3 Mio.). Hierzu trug vor allem ein Einmaleffekt aus der Übertragung des Berliner Axel-Springer-Hochhauses an den Axel Springer Pensionstreuhandverein bei. Das unbereinigte Ergebnis je Aktie legte von EUR 0,36 im Vorjahr auf EUR 0,69 zu.
Frei verfügbarer Cashflow wächst kräftig
Im ersten Quartal steigerte Axel Springer den frei verfügbaren Cashflow ohne Berücksichtigung von Effekten aus Immobilientransaktionen an den Unternehmensstandorten um 31,0 Prozent auf EUR 127,4 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 97,2 Mio.). Dieser Anstieg resultierte teilweise aus dem durch die neue Leasingbilanzierung geänderten Ausweis von Mietzahlungen. Die Nettoverschuldung belief sich zum 31. März 2018 auf EUR 1.391,8 Mio. (31. Dezember 2017: EUR 1.020,2 Mio.). Maßgeblich hierfür waren höhere Leasingverbindlichkeiten aufgrund der erstmaligen Anwendung der neuen Leasingbilanzierung sowie der Anmietung der Axel-Springer-Passage und des Axel-Springer-Hochhauses. Von den bestehenden langfristigen Kreditlinien in Höhe von EUR 1.200,0 Mio. waren per Ende März EUR 389,2 Mio. in Anspruch genommen (31. Dezember 2017: EUR 365,0 Mio.). Die Eigenkapitalquote belief sich zum Quartalsende auf 42,4 Prozent (ggü. 43,5 Prozent im ersten Quartal 2017).
Im Laufe des ersten Quartals hat die Doğan Holding einen Verkauf sämtlicher Medienaktivitäten an die türkische Mediengruppe Demirören eingeleitet. In diesem Zusammenhang hat sich Axel Springer mit der Doğan Holding auf eine vorzeitige Ausübbarkeit der Put-Optionen zu einem Gesamtkaufpreis von EUR 160 Mio. für den rund 7-prozentigen Anteil an Doğan TV geeinigt. Ursprünglich war Axel Springer von einem Verkauf in den Jahren 2020/2022 ausgegangen. Die Vereinbarung steht unter der aufschiebenden Bedingung des Verkaufs der Doğan TV-Anteile an Demirören sowie einer unveränderten Bankabsicherung der Put-Optionen.
Alle operativen Segmente legen umsatz- und ergebnisseitig zu
Das Segment Classifieds Media steigerte den Umsatz in den ersten drei Monaten um 16,2 Prozent auf EUR 290,2 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 249,7 Mio.). Hierzu trug im Wesentlichen ein organisches Wachstum von 11,3 Prozent bei, das vor allem von den Jobportalen getragen wurde. Nach der Übernahme Logic-Immos durch SeLoger schlugen sich zudem auch Konsolidierungseffekte aus der Einbeziehung des französischen Immobilienportals nieder. Das bereinigte EBITDA des Segments wuchs kräftig um 11,4 Prozent auf EUR 112,6 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 101,1 Mio.). Organisch belief sich der Anstieg auf 5,8 Prozent. Mit einer bereinigten EBITDA-Rendite von 38,8 Prozent (Vj.: 40,5 Prozent) blieben die Classifieds Media trotz Investitionen in zukünftiges Wachstum hochprofitabel.
Auch das Segment News Media verzeichnete einen guten Jahresstart. Im ersten Quartal stieg der Umsatz im Segment um 1,7 Prozent auf EUR 351,5 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 345,7 Mio.). Dies war insbesondere auf das anhaltend dynamische Wachstum der digitalen Aktivitäten, vor allem im Ausland, zurückzuführen. Besonders positiv fiel dabei die organische Entwicklung von BUSINESS INSIDER aus. Darüber hinaus verzeichneten die Werbeerlöse, sowohl im internationalen als auch im nationalen Geschäft, erfreuliche Zuwächse. Hierzu trug auch BILD bei, die bei den Print-Werbeerlösen im ersten Quartal über dem Ergebnis des Vorjahresquartals lag. Das bereinigte EBITDA der News Media nahm um 11,0 Prozent auf EUR 49,4 Mio. zu (Vj.: EUR 44,5 Mio.). Organisch lag das bereinigte EBITDA um 1,6 Prozent unter dem Vorjahr. Die bereinigte EBITDA-Rendite erhöhte sich auf 14,1 Prozent gegenüber 12,9 Prozent im Vorjahreszeitraum.
Der Umsatz im Segment Marketing Media wuchs im Berichtszeitraum um 5,0 Prozent auf EUR 118,1 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 112,5 Mio.). Bereinigt um Konsolidierungs- und Währungseffekte lag der Umsatz um 1,9 Prozent über dem Vorjahreszeitraum. Das bereinigte EBITDA des Segments verzeichnete ein signifikantes Wachstum von 55,8 Prozent auf EUR 23,6 Mio. (Vj.: EUR 15,1 Mio.). Neben einem starken organischen Wachstum (32,7 Prozent) aufgrund der Einstellung des US-Geschäfts bei Bonial sowie Ergebnisverbesserungen bei aufeminin und finanzen.net im Bereich Reichweitenvermarktung trugen hierzu auch Konsolidierungseffekte im Bereich Performance Marketing bei. Die bereinigte EBITDA-Rendite des Segments stieg auf 19,9 Prozent nach 13,4 Prozent im Vorjahreszeitraum.

MIL OSI

StepStone completes the acquisition of Universum, the global pioneer of data-driven employer branding services

Source: Axel Springer in English

The e-recruitment firm StepStone, an Axel Springer SE company, has completed the acquisition of Universum, the Swedish specialist in employer branding services. The transaction has already been approved by the relevant competition authorities.
After being founded in Stockholm more than 30 years ago, Universum has expanded beyond its core Swedish market to become a company operating on the global stage. With innovative and especially data-supported employer branding services, the company now helps around 2,000 customers all over the world with the quantitative measurement, development and communication of their employer brand. Universum will continue to operate as an independent, global company. As part of the StepStone group of companies, it will in future offer all StepStone customers even better and customised solutions for attracting the right employees. Universum has its head office in Stockholm and another eleven offices located throughout the world, employing around 160 people.
“Anybody who wishes to secure the services of the right employees in times of increasing competition must be able to conduct objective measurements and assessments of their employer brand on the basis of facts and figures”, says Ralf Baumann, CEO of StepStone. “The approach of most companies in this area, however, is not yet professional enough, because in most cases the employer branding analysis is based on subjective perception rather than verifiable facts. By carrying out structured data collection and evaluation, Universum provides the foundations for objectively measuring, assessing and developing the employer brand and communicating it in a way that is geared towards the target group. Large companies such as Unilever, Siemens and PwC are already benefiting from these innovative services – and additional StepStone customers will also benefit in future.”
“With the acquisition of Universum, StepStone has taken the next step towards becoming the leading international e-recruitment company”, says Dr Andreas Wiele, President Classifieds Media Axel Springer SE. “We warmly welcome the employees of Universum to the Axel Springer family.”
“We are delighted to be part of Axel Springer and StepStone”, says Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum. “For our customers, employees and partners, this takeover represents a unique opportunity to shape a future together in the analysis, development and communication of employer brands. We are looking forward to strengthening our position especially in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK, where StepStone is so successful.”
“I am very happy to place Universum in the experienced hands of Axel Springer and StepStone”, says Lars-Henrik Friis Molin, founder of Universum. For me, the time since the company was founded 30 years ago has been a fantastic journey. The fact that this journey has been such a success is mainly down to all of our employees, who, together with Universum’s customers, can look forward to an exciting future. I have always been Universum’s biggest fan – and that will remain the case in future.”
About StepStone
People find their dream job with StepStone. With more than 18 million visits in March 2018, the StepStone platform is used more than any other in the competitive environment (source: IVW). StepStone employs more than 2,500 people and operates online job sites in other countries in addition to stepstone.de in Germany. The company was founded in 1996 and is an Axel Springer SE subsidiary.

StepStone press contact
André SchaeferTel.: +49 211 934935529andre.schaefer@stepstone.de

MIL OSI

Axel Springer Prize honors the best young journalists of 2018 / International Special Award goes to murdered journalist Ján Kuciak

Source: Axel Springer in English

© Axel Springer SE

On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the 27th Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists award ceremony was held in Berlin. In front of about 250 invited guests, the Axel Springer Academy honored the best up-and-coming journalists in the publishing building. The Axel Springer Prize is awarded with three main prizes in gold, silver and bronze as well as two excellence awards for investigative research and creative implementation. For the first time this year, an international special award was also awarded in recognition of the outstanding work of a young journalist or team of journalists from non-German-speaking countries.
The winners of the 2018 Axel Springer Prize 2018 at a glance
GOLD: 
For her report “Sex, Lies and YouTube”, which was published in Reportagen magazine in May 2017, Barbara Bachmann received the prize in the gold category. The article by the 31-year-old told the story of young Italian woman Tiziana Cantone who committed suicide after being the victim of cyber-mobbing.
SILVER: 
Ann-Katrin Müller was honored in the silver category for her article in Spiegel titled “Our Father”, which was published in January 2018 and was about two men who were placed as foster children in the care of pedophile men.
BRONZE:
In the bronze category, the jury awarded two prizes to young journalists this year. In her story “An Entire Life”, which was published in Stern magazine in August 2017, prize-winner Nora Gantenbrink tells the love story of a toilet-cleaning team in a disco. In his report “Problem Children”, published in SZ Magazin in July 2017, Johannes Böhme sought out those children displaying behavioral problems he had driven day by day to kindergarten while serving his alternative military service, and asked the question about what effect their social background had had on the children’s lives.
CREATIVE IMPLEMENTATION: 
Team 22 from the Axel Springer Academy was honored with the Excellence Award for Creative Implementation for their podcast series “Alyom – Syria’s Children, the Toxic Gas & Us”, which was released in December 2017 on SoundCloud, iTunes and Spotify.
INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH:
Stefanie Dodt received the Excellence Award for Investigative Research for her television report on TV broadcaster ARD titled “Accomplices? VW and the Brazilian Military Dictatorship”, which was transmitted in July 2017.
Marc Thomas Spahl, Director of the Axel Springer Academy, which awards the prize, said that “In a time dominated by fake news and decreasing press freedom around the world, quality journalism is becoming increasingly important. With the Axel Springer Prize, we want to encourage young journalists to stand up for their journalistic mission by honoring their excellent achievements.”
Ján Kuciak’s sister, with Peter Bárdy, Editor-in-Chief of aktuality.sk, and editorial colleagues personally accept the International Special Award
The first International Special Award was given to the murdered Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak for his research into business relations between Slovak government employees and entrepreneurs and the Italian mafia. His sister Mária Kuciaková, together with Peter Bárdy, Editor-in-Chief of the news portal aktuality.sk, and other editorial colleagues accepted the award in person. Among the guests of the award ceremony was the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic, Dr. Peter Lizák.
Ján Kuciak was an editor on the investigative team at aktuality.sk, which belongs to Ringier Axel Springer Slovakia, from 2015 onwards. On February 25, 2018 Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová were found dead in their house in Slovakia, they had been shot by hitherto unknown perpetrators.

The members of this year’s jury:
Dunja Hayali, speaker (journalist and television presenter, ZDF)
Stefan Aust (publisher of WELT)
Markus Grill (Berlin head of the research network of NDR & WDR)
Sabrina Hoffmann (Editor-in-Chief of BUSINESS INSIDER Germany)
Prof. Dr. Wolf Lepenies (Publicist and Sociologist)
Moritz Müller-Wirth, (Deputy Editor-in-Chief Die Zeit)
Simone Panteleit (radio and TV journalist, Berliner Rundfunk 91.4)
Niddal Salah-Eldin (Director of Digital Innovation WELT)
Tarek Khello (freelance TV journalist and rotating jury member as winner of last year’s prize)

 
The main prizes for young journalists are endowed with 10,000 euros, 5,000 euros, 3,000 euros respectively, and 5,000 euros each for the Excellence Awards and the International Special Award. German-language work by volunteers, freelancers and editors, who were no older than 33 years at the date of publication, could be submitted. Proposers were chief editors and heads of journalism schools.
About the Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists:
The prize has been awarded by the Axel Springer publishing house and the heirs of the publishing house’s founder since 1991. It is awarded every year by the Axel Springer Academy around the date of Axel Springer’s birthday, which was May 2. The board of trustee members are: Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Rowan Barnett, Barbara Groth, Marc Thomas Spahl, Dr. h. c. Friede Springer, Prof. Dr. h.c. Dieter Stolte, Sebastian Turner, and Dr. Giuseppe Vita. All information about the prize can be found on the website of the Axel Springer Prize.
Comment on the freedom of the press by Peter Bárdy in the inside.appOn Friday morning, May 4, 2018, the inside.app by Axel Springer will publish exclusively a comment on press freedom by Peter Bárdy, editor-in-chief of the news portal aktuality.sk.

MIL OSI

Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists 2018: International special award goes to murdered journalist Ján Kuciak

Source: Axel Springer in English

On Thursday, May 3, 2018, World Press Freedom Day, the Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists will be awarded for the 27th time in Berlin. For the first time this year, an international special award will also be dedicated in recognition of the outstanding work of a young journalist or team of journalists from non-German-speaking countries: endowed with 5,000 euros, this award goes to the Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak, who was murdered in February 2018, and will be accepted by Ján Kuciak’s sister Maria and colleagues of his editorial office, the news portal aktuality.sk.

Ján Kuciak
© aktuality.sk

Since 2015 Ján Kuciak had been an editor in the investigative team of aktuality.sk, which belongs to Ringier Axel Springer Slovakia. For his last article, the 27-year-old journalist was investigating allegations of fraudulent payments of EU funds as part of tax regulations between Slovakia and Italian citizens, who presumably have links with the mafia-organization ‘Ndrangheta’. On February 25, 2018 Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová were found dead in their house in Slovakia. To continue Ján Kuciak’s research, Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, Axel Springer SE and Ringier AG have sent experienced investigative journalists to Bratislava, where they have set up an international newsroom.
Marc Thomas Spahl, Director of the Axel Springer Academy, which awards the prize said, “The Axel Springer Prize honors outstanding young journalists who are at the beginning of their careers. Ján Kuciak’s hopeful career ended before it really began. The perpetrators were enemies of freedom. Ján Kuciak’s award on World Press Freedom Day is also a sign that we must not allow ourselves to doubt our journalistic mission and we must not give in to barbaric violence”.

© Axel Springer SE

The other prize winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Berlin on May 3, 2018. The Axel Springer Prize is the most important award for young journalists in German-speaking countries and is presented with three main prizes in bronze, silver and gold as well as two excellence awards for investigative research and creative implementation. All editors-in-chief in Germany were invited to submit the best work of the year 2017 by trainee journalists, freelancers and editors who were not older than 33 years at the time of publication. The jury is made up of: Stefan Aust, Markus Grill, Dunja Hayali, Sabrina Hoffmann, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolf Lepenies, Moritz Müller-Wirth, Simone Panteleit, Niddal Salah-Eldin, together with the previous year’s prize-winner as a rotating jury member, this year the freelance TV journalist Tarek Khello.
About the Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists:
The prize has been awarded by the Axel Springer publishing house and the heirs of the publishing house’s founder since 1991. It is awarded every year by the Axel Springer Academy around the date of Axel Springer’s birthday, which was May 2. For more information, see www.axel-springer-preis.de.

MIL OSI

Axel Springer closes the sale of its stake in aufeminin group to Télévision Française 1 S.A.

Source: Axel Springer in English

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Axel Springer has closed today the sale of its stake in aufeminin group to Télévision Française 1 S.A. (TF1). The aggregated purchase price of Axel Springer’s around 78 percent stake amounts to EUR 291.5 million. This corresponds to a multiple of around 15 based on consolidated EBITDA 2017 attributable to Axel Springer shareholders. The purchase price includes also the contractual agreed interest payments made by TF1 to Axel Springer.
aufeminin and its subsidiaries offer online portals, forums and product subscriptions for predominantly female target groups. In Germany, aufeminin operates the women portal gofeminin, the health portal Onmeda as well as the subscription box service My Little Box. The shares of aufeminin S.A. are listed on Compartment B of Euronext Paris stock exchange.
Dr. Andreas Wiele, President Classifieds Media Axel Springer SE: “With Axel Springer as majority shareholder, the reach, revenues and earnings of the aufeminin group have quadrupled. At the same time, the business has moved away from our strategic core areas Content and Classifieds by focusing strongly on e-commerce. Therefore, by completing this economically very attractive transaction, TF1 is going to be a good new owner for aufeminin. I sincerely thank the management team under the excellent leadership of Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon and the whole team for many years of extremely successful and pleasant cooperation.”

MIL OSI

Axel Springer schließt Verkauf von aufeminin an Télévision Française 1 S.A. ab

Source: Axel Springer

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Axel Springer hat heute den Verkauf seiner Beteiligung an der aufeminin-Gruppe an Télévision Française 1 S.A. (TF1) abgeschlossen. Dabei wurde der Anteil von Axel Springer in Höhe von rund 78 Prozent mit insgesamt EUR 291,5 Millionen bewertet. Dies entspricht einem Multiple bezogen auf das auf Axel Springer Aktionäre entfallende EBITDA 2017 von ca. 15. Der Gesamtpreis umfasst auch die vertraglich vereinbarten Zinszahlungen durch TF1 an Axel Springer.
aufeminin und seine Tochterunternehmen bieten Onlineportale, Foren und Produktabonnements für vorwiegend weibliche Zielgruppen. In Deutschland betreibt aufeminin das Frauenportal gofeminin, das Gesundheitsportal Onmeda sowie die Abonnementbox My Little Box. Die Aktien der aufeminin S.A. sind im Compartment B der Börse Euronext Paris notiert.
Dr. Andreas Wiele, Vorstand Classifieds Media Axel Springer SE: „Mit Axel Springer als Mehrheitsaktionär haben sich Reichweite, Umsatz und Ergebnis der aufeminin-Gruppe vervierfacht. Gleichzeitig hat sich das Geschäft insbesondere mit seinem starken Fokus auf E-Commerce aus unseren strategischen Kernfeldern Content und Classifieds entfernt. Deshalb findet aufeminin mit dem Abschluss dieser wirtschaftlich sehr attraktiven Transaktion in TF1 einen neuen guten Eigentümer. Ich danke der Geschäftsführung unter der exzellenten Leitung von Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon und dem ganzen Team herzlichst für viele Jahre äußerst erfolgreicher und angenehmer Zusammenarbeit.“

MIL OSI

“An Evening for Jeff Bezos”: Amazon founder receives the Axel Springer Award 2018 in Berlin / Mathias Döpfner: “We want to encourage young people to think big”.

Source: Axel Springer in English

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon Inc.
© Axel Springer SE

He is a seldom visitor to Germany, but Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon Inc. and owner of “The Washington Post” has come to Berlin with his wife MacKenzie to receive the Award in person. Following Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and Sir Timothy-Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Jeff Bezos is the third recipient of the Axel Springer Award, which Europe’s leading digital publisher has been awarding to particularly innovative personalities since 2016. And special award-winners deserve a special awards ceremony attended by special guests. The event, “An Evening for Jeff Bezos”, was attended by 100 invited guests, among them top managers and decision-makers from the worlds of business, politics, start-ups, as well as media makers and artists. It took place on the 19th floor of the Axel Springer publishing building. Alyson Shontell, Editor-in-Chief of BUSINESS INSIDER US, presented the evening’s program, which has been especially designed for the award-winner.
Mathias Döpfner: “Germany and Europe both lack globally significant entrepreneurship. Jeff Bezos is a role model, because out of nothing he created one of the biggest companies in the world, which employs more than 500,000 people and has come up with a sales model that makes life easier for several hundred millions of customers worldwide. What is more, by acquiring ‘The Washington Post’, he has shown that digital journalism has a great future. Honoring Jeff Bezos with the Axel Springer Award is about celebrating his achievements and encouraging young people to develop their own ideas, to believe in them and to make them come true. Who knows, the Jeff Bezos of the future is perhaps sitting in one of Berlin’s many start-ups at this very moment. We want to encourage him – or her – to think big.”
John Elkann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fiat corporation, held the laudation in honor of Jeff Bezos, in which he paid tribute to the manifold entrepreneurial and personal facets of the award-winner. Entrepreneur and investor Warren Buffet, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell, as well as film director and screenwriter Steven Spielberg also expressed their best wishes personally or via video messages.
The guests were able to find out what it is that drives Jeff Bezos, and what puts him in a more contemplative mood in a discussion between the award-winner and Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE.
 
Before that, Jeff Bezos and the guests at the Axel Springer Award were able to take a multimedia trip back to the most important episodes in the award-winner’s life. A miniature world was built up in great detail – in so-called dioramas – showing the farm of Bezos’s grandfather in Cotulla, Texas, Amazon’s foundation in a car on the way to Seattle, as well as the celestial ambitions of his space-travel company “Blue Origin”. These tell the life story of Jeff Bezos in conjunction with film sequences and photos.
Among the guests were Peter Altmaier, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, Chairman and Managing Director of Vodafone GmbH, Holger Beeck, Chairman of the Board of McDonald’s Germany, actress Iris Berben, film producer Oliver Berben, architect David Chipperfield, Tom Enders, CEO Airbus S.A.S., model Toni Garrn, Béatrice Guillaume-Grabisch, Chairman of the Board of Nestlé Deutschland AG, musician Marius Müller-Westernhagen, singer Max Raabe, Oliver Reppert, CEO of car2go Germany, Gisbert Rühl, Chairman of the Board of Klöckner & Co SE, entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky, Dr. Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Christian Seifert, Managing Director of Deutsche Fußball Liga, German Federal Minister for Health Jens Spahn, entrepreneur Frank Thelen as well as Federal Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.
About the Axel Springer Award
The Award is given to outstanding personalities who demonstrate an exceptional talent for innovation, create and transform markets, shape culture, and also face their social responsibility. The Award recognizes the recipients’ achievements so far and encourages them to develop these further. At the same time, the award-winners should be role models for others, encouraging them to realize their own ideas. The format of the awards ceremony is tailored individually to the award winner. The Axel Springer award is a non-monetary prize. The winner is selected by the executive board of Axel Springer SE, following suggestions by employees or the public.
More information on the Axel Springer Award can be found at axel-springer-award.com

MIL OSI

Annual General Meeting of Axel Springer SE approves record dividend and elects new Supervisory Board members

MIL OSI – Source: Axel Springer in English – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Annual General Meeting of Axel Springer SE approves record dividend and elects new Supervisory Board members

Dividend increases to the highest value so far at EUR 2.00 per share / Iris Knobloch and Dr Alexander Karp become new members of the Supervisory Board

 

CEO Mathias Döpfner during the AGM 2018

© Axel Springer SE

On April 18, 2018 the Annual General Meeting of Axel Springer SE approved an increased dividend of EUR 2.00 per qualifying share (PY: EUR 1.90) for the financial year 2017, a rise of EUR 0.10 compared to the previous year. This increased the total dividend distribution from EUR 205.0 million to EUR 215.8 million.
During the 2017 financial year, Axel Springer significantly increased total revenues by 8.3 percent to EUR 3,562.7 million (PY: EUR 3,290.2 million). Revenues increased organically by 6.3 percent. The adjusted EBITDA recorded an increase of 8.5 percent to EUR 645.8 million (PY: EUR 595.5 million). The adjusted EBITDA margin at 18.1 percent was at the same high level as in the previous year. The adjusted earnings per share increased by 8.1 percent to EUR 2.60 (PY: EUR 2.41).
Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE: “2017 was the most financially successful year in our corporate history. We would like our shareholders to benefit from this with our highest dividend yet. Our focus on digital growth, on journalism, and on our classifieds media is paying off. This year, we will continue to further extend our position as Europe’s leading digital publisher.”

 

Iris Knobloch

© Axel Springer SE

 

Dr Alexander Karp

© Axel Springer SE

In addition, the Annual General Meeting elected Iris Knobloch, Président-Directeur Géneral of Warner Bros. France S.A., and Dr Alexander Karp, co-founder and CEO of the US software company Palantir Technologies, as new members of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE. They succeed Bill Ford and Rudolf Knepper who retire from the nine-person committee at the end of the Annual General Meeting.
Dr Giuseppe Vita, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE: “We look forward to working with Iris Knobloch and Alexander Karp. As experienced experts in the media industry and the digital economy, they will contribute to making Axel Springer even more digital and international. We thank the two leaving Supervisory Board members Bill Ford and Rudolf Knepper for their excellent work and their wise advice for the successful transformation of Axel Springer SE.“

Hauptversammlung der Axel Springer SE beschließt Rekorddividende und wählt neue Aufsichtsratsmitglieder

MIL OSI – Source: Axel Springer – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Hauptversammlung der Axel Springer SE beschließt Rekorddividende und wählt neue Aufsichtsratsmitglieder

Dividende steigt mit 2,00 Euro je Aktie auf bisher höchsten Wert / Iris Knobloch und Dr. Alexander Karp werden neue Mitglieder des Aufsichtsrats

 

Vorstandsvorsitzender Mathias Döpfner spricht auf der Hauptversammlung 2018

© Axel Springer SE

Die Hauptversammlung der Axel Springer SE hat am 18. April 2018 eine im Vergleich zum Vorjahr um 0,10 Euro erhöhte Dividende von 2,00 Euro (Vj.: 1,90 Euro) je dividendenberechtigter Stückaktie für das Geschäftsjahr 2017 beschlossen. Damit stieg das Ausschüttungsvolumen von 205,0 Mio. Euro auf 215,8 Mio. Euro.
Im Geschäftsjahr 2017 steigerte Axel Springer die Konzernumsatzerlöse deutlich um 8,3 Prozent auf 3.562,7 Mio. Euro (Vj.: 3.290,2 Mio Euro). Organisch stieg der Umsatz um 6,3 Prozent. Das bereinigte EBITDA verzeichnete ein Plus von 8,5 Prozent auf 645,8 Mio. Euro (Vj.: 595,5 Mio. Euro). Die bereinigte EBITDA-Rendite lag mit 18,1 Prozent auf dem hohen Niveau des Vorjahres. Das bereinigte Ergebnis je Aktie stieg um 8,1 % auf 2,60 Euro (Vj.: 2,41 Euro).
Mathias Döpfner, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Axel Springer SE: „Das Jahr 2017 war das wirtschaftlich erfolgreichste unserer Unternehmensgeschichte. Daran möchten wir unsere Aktionäre mit der bisher höchsten Dividende teilhaben lassen. Unser Fokus auf digitalem Wachstum, auf Journalismus und unseren Rubriken-plattformen zahlt sich aus. Wir werden auch in diesem Jahr unsere Position als Europas führender Digitalverlag weiter ausbauen.“

 

Iris Knobloch

© Axel Springer SE

 

Dr. Alexander Karp

© Axel Springer SE

Zudem wählte die Hauptversammlung Iris Knobloch, Président-Directeur Géneral von Warner Bros. France S.A., sowie Dr. Alexander Karp, Mitgründer und CEO des US-amerikanischen Software-Unternehmens Palantir Technologies, als neue Mitglieder in den Aufsichtsrat der Axel Springer SE. Die beiden folgen auf Bill Ford und Rudolf Knepper, die mit Ablauf der Hauptversammlung aus dem neunköpfigen Gremium ausschieden.
Dr. Giuseppe Vita, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Axel Springer SE: „Wir freuen uns sehr auf die Zusammenarbeit mit Iris Knobloch und Alexander Karp. Als erfahrene Experten der Medienbranche bzw. Digitalwirtschaft werden sie dazu beitragen, Axel Springer noch digitaler und internationaler zu gestalten. Den beiden ausscheidenden Aufsichtsräten Bill Ford und Rudolf Knepper danken wir sehr herzlich für die gute Zusammenarbeit und ihre klugen Impulse für die erfolgreiche Transformation der Axel Springer SE.“