EQS-News: Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results/Half Year Report
Bastei Lübbe AG with growth in core business despite difficult market environment
Cologne, 10 November 2022 – Despite the difficult economic environment, Cologne-based general-interest publisher Bastei Lübbe is continuing on its growth trajectory in its current 2022/2023 financial year, with pleasing operating earnings and forecasts. Thus, revenues rose by 3 million euros to 44.1 million euros in the period from April to September 2022 (previous year 41.2 million euros). This performance was materially underpinned by core book business and, particularly, the strong growth of the LYX imprint, which addresses the New Adults group of readers with its community model. EBIT for the first six months of the financial year came to 0.9 million euros, down from 4.5 million euros in the same period of the previous year. This was mainly due to the reduced earnings contribution and the adjusted goodwill of the subsidiary smarticular, together with a higher-than-expected increase in the prices of paper and printing in its core business. Adjusted for the impairment recognised on the subsidiary, EBIT for the first half of the financial year would have come to 2.9 million euros, translating into an adjusted EBIT margin of 6.6 percent.
Core business continuing to grow – disproportionately strong demand for community content
With its attractive range of new releases and existing titles as well as its popular audio offerings, Bastei Lübbe is continuing to benefit from strong demand on the part of its readers. Reflecting this, revenues in the Book segment grew from 37.6 million euros in the previous year to 40.7 million euros in the period under review, despite the fact that revenues in the overall market were down over the previous year for the fifth consecutive month in September. At the same time, the increase also reflects the first-time full consolidation of CE Community Editions, which added 1.8 million euros.
Significant growth was achieved at LYX, the Bastei Lübbe Group’s successful community publisher, with revenues rising by around 30 percent. Among other things, this was driven by the first LYX pop-up tour, in which the publisher presented itself to its readers at selected locations in five cities with authors complete with meetings and book-signing sessions, photo shoots and new products. More than 2,800 visitors attended this premiere. Overall, the Group’s community-driven business models accounted for 31 percent of total revenues as of 30 September 2022 (previous year 27.0 percent).
The Novel Booklets segment posted revenues of 3.4 million euros, thus coming close to the previous year (3.6 million euros). Costs in this segment rose considerably due to the challenging situation in the printing and paper industry. It was primarily for this reason that segment EBIT contracted by 0.6 million euros to 29 thousand euros. The aim is to at least partially offset the cost increases by means of increased efficiency and price adjustments.
“The Bastei Lübbe portfolio has proven itself even under difficult market conditions and continues to benefit from its success in various formats and channels. In particular, the unabated growth of our LYX imprint testifies to the resilience and sustainability of community-driven business models, which we will continue to step up in the future,” explains Soheil Dastyari, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG.
Solid financial basis
In the reporting period, the cost of materials increased to 21.6 million euros (previous year 18.7 million euros), mainly as a result of higher paper and printing costs. Personnel expenses rose from 8.9 million euros to 10.1 million euros.
Total Group assets fell by 5.2 million euros from 104.3 million euros to 99.1 million euros in the period under review. At 50.9 million euros, the share of equity attributable to the shareholders of the parent company is lower than on 31 March 2022 (56.1 million euros). The net profit for the period of 0.1 million euros (of which 0.1 million euros is attributable to the shareholders of Bastei Lübbe AG) was offset by the dividend payment of 5.3 million euros for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Impairment of the carrying amount of smarticular
On 4 November, Bastei Lübbe reported an impairment of 2.0 million euros on the carrying amount of its subsidiary smarticular as of 30 September 2022. This was prompted by the significant decline in the earnings contributed by the Berlin-based publisher, which concentrates on sustainability issues. Bastei Lübbe had previously taken comprehensive measures in the summer to improve the profitability of the subsidiary, including a revised management lineup and strategic adjustments.
Updated forecast for the financial year
The impairment recognised on smarticular and the rising production costs also prompted the Executive Board to adjust its full-year expectations. It now expects EBIT in a range of 6.0 to 7.0 million euros and an EBIT margin of 6.5 to 7.5 percent. Adjusted for the impairment of the goodwill attributable to smarticular, the operating margin should come to 8.5 to 9.5 percent. As before, revenues are expected to reach a range of 90 to 95 million euros.
Bastei Lübbe’s full report on the first half of the 2022/2023 financial year can be found at:
About Bastei Lübbe AG:
Bastei Lübbe AG is a German general-interest publisher based in Cologne, specialising in the publication of books, audio books and e-books featuring fiction and popular science content. The company’s core business also includes the periodically published novel booklets. With a total of fifteen imprints, the group currently offers several thousand titles in the fields of fiction, non-fiction and children’s and young people’s books. In the growing segment of hardcover fiction, the company has been one of the market leaders in Germany for many years. At the same time, Bastei Lübbe is a driver of innovation in digital media and exploitation channels through the production of thousands of audio and e-books among other things.
With annual revenues of around 95 million euros (2021/2022 financial year), Bastei Lübbe AG is one of the largest medium-sized companies in the German publishing industry. Its shares have been listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (WKN A1X3YY, ISIN DE000A1X3YY0) since 2013. Further information can be found at www.luebbe.de.
Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:
10.11.2022 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
Bastei Lübbe AG
Schanzenstraße 6 – 20
02 21 / 82 00 - 0
02 21 / 82 00 - 1900
Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange
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