Digitalization (since 2006)




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Digitalization (since 2006)

2006

The 28th international edition of AUTO BILD is launched in Serbia and Montenegro in January.

An Italian edition of AUDIO VIDEO FOTO BILD is launched in February.

COMPUTER BILD Russia is first published in March. It is the eighth licensed edition of Europe’s biggest computer magazine and the fourth title to be launched on the Russian market by Axel Springer Russia within two years.

In April Axel Springer Polska launches another national daily newspaper, DZIENNIK, in Poland to follow FAKT, that has been running successfully since 2003. DZIENNIK is a modern quality paper for educated young readers interested in Polish, European and international topics alike.

In the spring, the shareholder structure of Axel Springer AG changes as follows: Axel Springer Gesellschaft für Publizistik (50% + 10 shares), Friede Springer (7%), Hellman & Friedman (19.4%), Axel Springer AG (9.8%), free float (13.8%).

Concerning the shareholder structure of Axel Springer AG: on 14 July 2006 Mathias Döpfner bought 2% of the shares from the holding of Friede Springer. The current distribution is as follows: Axel Springer Gesellschaft für Publizistik (50% + 10 shares), Friede Springer (5%), Axel Springer AG (9.8%), Hellman & Friedman (19.4%), free float (15.8%, of which 2.1% owned by Mathias Döpfner).

Axel Springer takes over the majority holding in Idealo Internet GmbH, the company that operates the price and product search engine idealo.de .

The start of the Federal League football season 2006/2007 is marked by the first issue of “SPORT BILD täglich”, a highly topical Internet sport newspaper that can be downloaded free of charge (www.sportbild.de). It is updated twice a day. Also at the start of the new Federal League season Axel Springer launches SPORT B.Z., Germany’s first daily sport newspaper, on a test market.

Axel Springer Budapest takes over the Hungarian TV magazine SARGA RTV, thus consolidating its market leadership in the TV and radio magazine segment. This is the 22nd magazine under the umbrella of Axel Springer’s Hungarian subsidiary.

In August, Axel Springer launches a Swiss edition of TV DIGITAL.

The fortnightly TV magazine is distributed in German-speaking Switzerland.

In Greece, a licensed edition of the monthly women’s magazine JOLIE is first published in September.

Axel Springer widens its presence in the magazine sector in Central and Eastern Europe: the eighth foreign edition of COMPUTER BILD is launched in Bulgaria. In Lithuania, AUTO BILD 4 x 4 comes onto the market as the first licensed edition of AUTO BILD ALLES ALLRAD. Axel Springer Russia publishes a licensed edition of the lifestyle and people magazine OK!.

In November Axel Springer acquires a 25% stake in the Turkish broadcasting group Dogan TV.

BILD-T.Online launches the Internet newspaper THE AVASTAR as an English-language weekly paper in the virtual Internet world "Second Life" (www.The-AvaStar.com).

Axel Springer AG acquires 25.1% of the Polish TV station Polsat The investment is subject to approval by the cartel office.

2007

On 1 January 2007, Axel Springer AG acquires a 99.5 percent stake of the share capital of Jean Frey AG. The Zurich publishing house is publisher of the consumer advice magazine BEOBACHTER, the business magazine BILANZ and the program guide TV STAR.

The monthly parenting magazine FAMILIA MEA – BABY comes onto the market in Romania in January. This is the 17th title from Edipresse AS Romania, a joint venture between Axel Springer and the Swiss Edipresse Group.

In March TV GUIDE is launched on the German market. The biweekly program guide offers a clearly structured overview of all the free-to-air TV channels as well as a compact reading section on TV and related topics.

Axel Springer AG increases its shareholding in the Internet media retailer buecher.de GmbH & Co. KG to 33.3 percent.

Axel Springer Finanzen Verlag acquires 50.1 percent of wallstreet:online AG and 75.1 percent of wallstreet:online capital AG, which with its www.fondsdiscount.de and www.geschlossene-fonds.de portals is one of the leading independent fund agents on the Internet.

Axel Springer AG founds a corporation for universal content navigation, the Axel Springer Digital TV Guide GmbH. It offers technology solutions, in particular Electronic Program Guides (EPGs), for the advanced navigation of digital content on different platforms.

Axel Springer Praha supplements its print portfolio through a 74.9 percent holding in Anima Publishers with three dynamically growing Internet portals. The company operates the leading Czech auto portal AUTO.CZ as well as ROADLOOK.PL and ROADLOOK.SK.

Axel Springer acquires 51 percent of the official city portal www.hamburg.de. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has a 20 percent stake in the public-private partnership.

In April Axel Springer extends its international magazine business: Two further editions of AUTO BILD ALLRAD are launched in the Ukraine and Spain. In Slovenia, the fortnightly AUTO BILD SLOVENIA comes onto the market. The licensee is VideoToP, a leading Slovenian magazine publisher. This means that AUTO BILD is now published in 30 countries.

In May the company announces that BILD and BILD am SONNTAG are relocating from Hamburg to Berlin. Both papers will be published in the capital from Easter 2008.

Axel Springer AG (60%) and the Swiss PubliGroupe AG (40%) take over Zanox.de AG. The Berlin company is one of the leading service provider for performance-based online marketing worldwide.

IMMONET (www.immonet.de), Axel Springer’s cross-media real estate portal, acquires www.wohnfinder.de, the leading real estate portal in the East of Germany. Through the acquisition of shares from its joint partners WAZ media group, Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group and Rosalia AG, Axel Springer AG takes a majority interest in the PIN Group AG (Luxemburg) at the end of June. With these transactions Axel Springer AG increases its share in the PIN Group AG to 71.6 percent.

The Axel Springer Academy calls for entries for the SCOOP! idea contest in July, which – initially as a one-off – supports a groundbreaking media project over a period of up to two years with up to 500,000 Euros. From almost 2000 applicants, Dennis Buchmann emerges as the winner with his three monthly magazine “Humanglobaler Zufall”.

Axel Springer AG acquires a 20 percent holding in Motor Talk GmbH, Munich in July. Motor Talk is the largest German-language automobile and motoring community.

In October a new licensed edition of AUTO BILD launches in Greece. The licensee of AUTO BILD HELLAS is Technical Press, a subsidiary of the Greek publishing group Liberis Publications. AUTO BILD had been published as a simple weekly supplement with the title “Auto Nea” in the daily paper “Ta Nea” from 1993.

The activities of the former Jean Frey AG and the Handelszeitung publishing group are consolidated in October under the name Axel Springer Schweiz. For this Jean Frey AG is renamed Axel Springer Schweiz AG.

Europe’s biggest daily paper BILD continues the development of the brand in the digital markets in October with the start of the new BILDmobil portal. The “BILDmobil” prepaid tariff is introduced at the same time as the editorial content, allowing every mobile user to surf for free without data transfer fees using the BILD service.

Axel Springer has a total of 63.48 percent of the capital stock of auFeminin.com, the leading European Internet portal for women in October. This means that following the expiry of the term for acceptance for the initiated public takeover offer made to the shareholders of auFeminin.com on the 10 September 2007, Axel Springer AG holds 5,687,029 shares in the society through its subsidiary AS Online Beteiligungs GmbH.

Through the retiring of 1.02 million of its own shares, Axel Springer AG’s capital stock is reduced from EUR 102.0 millions by EUR 3.06 millions in November to EUR 98.94 millions. Following implementation of this resolution, the corporation now holds treasury shares amounting to 7 percent instead of the 10 percent of the capital stock previously held.

PRZEGLAD SPORTOWY is published by Axel Springer Polska from November. Axel Springer has taken over Poland’s only daily sports paper from Marquard Media. PRZEGLAD SPORTOWY has been around since 1921 and is the oldest daily paper in Poland.

In December (with commercial effect from 1 January 2008), Axel Springer AG takes over shares previously held by Deutsche Telekom AG amounting to 37 percent of Bild.T-Online.de AG & Co. KG. This step makes the group sole shareholder thereby securing full responsibility for the strategic direction of Axel Springer’s core brand BILD on the Internet. Bild.T-Online.de becomes www.Bild.de .

Axel Springer AG will no longer pursue the acquisition planned in December 2006 of a minority shareholding in the Polish Telewizja POLSAT S.A. television company. This was mutually agreed by the contracting parties in December 2007.

In the light of the 2nd law passed on 14 December in the German Parliament amending the Posted Workers Act for the postal industry (minimum wage), the management board and the supervisory board of Axel Springer AG decided to withhold additional funding for the PIN Group. Axel Springer AG announces a write-off requirement of up to 620 million Euros, which will have a negative effect on the group’s annual net profit, but not on its operative performance (Earnings before Interests, Taxes & Amortization adjusted for non recurring items - EBITA).

The media services of the BILD brand receive new cross-sector management with effect from 1 January 2008. The BILD newspaper group, until now part of the Management Board’s newspapers division, and the online services of the BILD brand, along with titles previously allocated to the magazines division, are bundled together and will in future be the responsibility of Dr. Andreas Wiele as Senior Executive President. International business will in future be the responsibility of CEO Dr. Mathias Döpfner, and his Management Board Newspapers Division will be renamed as the Management Board WELT-Group/Regional Newspapers and International Affairs Division.

2008

In January the Axel Springer stock corporation sells its indirect interest in ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG to co-shareholder KKR/Permira (12 percent each of the common stock and preferred stock).

With effect from January, Axel Springer AG takes over the 37 percent of shares in Bild.T-Online.de previously held by Deutsche Telekom AG. This results in the biggest German news and entertainment portal under the name BILD.de on the Internet. At the same time the company is renamed BILD digital AG & Co. KG.

In February Axel Springer combines all its women’s youth and music magazines, along with their respective online offerings companywide under the roof of the new publishing group entitled Women, Youth, and Music. The goals of this reorganization are strengthening the women’s magazines segment and accelerating the cross-media development of the women’s brands, as well as the youth and music brands of Axel Springer Mediahouse Munich.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer AG, announces in February that the WELT Group has achieved its long-striven for goal of profitability. Journalistic offensives, cost-cutting structural measures and a sales offensive have contributed to this success.

BILD and BILD am SONNTAG relocate the head offices of their editorial departments from Hamburg to Berlin in March. With their move to the German capital both papers are now located where news originates. More than 400 employees from the editorial offices and the publishing sectors took up their new workplaces in Berlin at Easter. The HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, BILD HAMBURG and the Distribution and Logistics divisions as well as some parts of the production remain in our Hamburg offices.

AUTO BILD ALLRAD is published as AUTO BILD 4x4 in Serbia and Montenegro from March. Following market launches in Lithuania, the Ukraine and Spain, AUTO BILD 4x4 Serbia/Montenegro is the fourth international edition of the major all-wheel drive magazine.

The Polish daily paper SPORT is published by Axel Springer Polska from April. The regional daily sports paper is market leader in Silesia ahead of PRZEGLAD SPORTOWY, Poland’s only national sports paper, which has also been published by the Polish subsidiary of Axel Springer since November 2007.

In April the first edition of the magazine HUMANGLOBALER ZUFALL is published. With 140 pages, the first edition has 100,000 copies at a retail price of five Euros. The magazine initially plans to release four issues by the end of 2008 and is promoted by the Axel Springer Academy to the tune of 500,000 Euros. The editor-in-chief is Dennis Buchmann who was the winner of the 2007 “SCOOP! idea contest” initiated by the Axel Springer Academy.

The fifth international licensed edition of the AUTO BILD ALLRAD magazine is launched in Bulgaria in April entitled “AUTO BILD 4x4”.

The 29th licensed edition of the world’s biggest automobile magazine AUTO BILD launches in April in Georgia. The magazine is published by Media Management Service Ltd., one of the four largest publishing houses in Georgia.

In May the first edition of the completely reworked magazine YAM! is issued. At least 100 pages in length, it presents itself as a modern lifestyle magazine for the target group of young adults. Under the slogan “Dive into Life”, the attitude to life of today’s young people aged between 15 and 25 is addressed, thereby closing the gap in the market between classical youth magazines and adult titles.  

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen opens the “Wolkenzwerge” (“Cloud dwarves”) day nursery at Axel Springer in May in Berlin. This new opportunity for child care in the immediate vicinity of the workplace is a contribution to the active support of an improved work/family balance. Media skills play a central role for Axel Springer as a modern media enterprise. For this reason the promotion of the children’s specific learning and language acquisition is the focus of the qualified pedagogic work among the “Wolkenzwergen”.

Axel Springer and Philips agree in May on co-operation for the introduction of a new type of offering worldwide in the sector of personal TV. The new offering, TV DIGITAL PERSONAL, uses APRICO, a software-based technology solution from Philips. TV DIGITAL PERSONAL is based on program guide technology and the editorial program information services from Axel Springer Digital TV Guide. TV DIGITAL PERSONAL and APRICO together offer an intelligent service, which personalizes the TV channels according to the interests of the viewers on the basis of the conventional TV program and the available Internet moving image content.

The first edition of AUTO TIP SPORTSCARS is launched in the Czech Republic in June. This is the start of a further line extension for the world’s biggest automobile magazine AUTO BILD abroad. Both AUTO TIP SPORTSCARS and AUTO TIP are published by Axel Springer Praha, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axel Springer.

In an to July 25th 2008 limited share buyback Axel Springer AG acquired 917.341 shares at a price of 80.00 Euros per qualifying share and increased its own holding to 9.99 percent. Out of the own held shares, Axel Springer AG has no voting rights.

goFeminin.de GmbH purchases the Onmeda health portal belonging to OnVista Media GmbH in June. The purchase price amounts to EUR 5.4 million. The purchase is currently subject to approval by the German antitrust authority.  

Axel Springer AG is continuing to pursue its policy of internationalization and is active in India with a joint venture. In cooperation with the India Today Group, one of the biggest publishing houses on the subcontinent, Axel Springer founded the ITAS Media company with its head office in New Delhi in June. As its first title the joint venture will be introducing an Indian edition of AUTO BILD onto the market.

At the end of November 2008 Axel Springer acquires approx. 10 percent in Dogan Yayin Holding. Dogan is the leading Turkish media group, which includes majority participations in the newspapers Hürriyet, Milliyet und Posta, shareholdings in the magazine company Dogan-Burda as well as a majority participation in Dogan TV. These transactions are subject to the usual conditions, in particular to the legal and regulatory clearances.

After been engaged in StepStone Deutschland AG since 2007 with 49.9 percent of the shares. Axel Springer acquires approximately 33.3. percent of the shares of StepStone ASA in the middle of December 2008. StepStone is a internationally leading provider of E-Recruiting-Solutions. Main business operations are online recruitment businesses and hosted talent management solutions. Through the acquisition Axel Springer pursues its strategic goals of internationalization and digitization. 

The shareholder structure of Axel Springer AG from December 15th 2008 is as follows: Axel Springer Society for Publishing 51.5 %, Axel Springer AG 9.9 %, Deutsche Bank AG 8,4 %, Friede Springer 7.0 %, scattered holdings 23.1 %.

2009

The publishing house Axel Springer Finanzen Verlag is renamed Axel Springer Financial Media in January 2009. With its change of name the company has positioned itself as an integrated media group in the financial area and makes allowances for the increasing cross-media networking of its print and online offerings.

In the course of the extension of its online youth offerings, Axel Springer Mediahouse Munich is positioning its youth brand YAM! exclusively as an online product and will in future dispense with a printed edition. Through its positioning as an exclusively online brand, the target group can be made even more comprehensive offers corresponding ideally to their usage behavior. 

As a result of the great success of the AUTO BILD brand in Spain, Axel Springer is further expanding this brand portfolio and will launch AUTO BILD SPORTSCARS on the Iberian peninsula at the end of January 2009. Following the introduction of AUTO BILD in 2005 and the AUTO BILD 4X4 line extension in 2007, Axel Springer España is now publishing the second spin-off of the world’s biggest automobile magazine with the license for AUTO BILD SPORTSCARS. 

Axel Springer AG is selling its holdings in the Leipziger Volkszeitung (50 percent), the Lübecker Nachrichten (49 percent) and the Kieler Nachrichten (24.5 percent) newspapers, as well as its share in the northern German newpaper holding company Hanseatische Verlags-Beteiligung (23 percent) to the Madsack publishing group. At the same time the Lübecker Nachrichten will take over Axel Springer AG’s share of the Ostsee-Zeitung newspaper in Rostock (50 percent). The total volume of the transaction amounts to EUR 310 millions.

BEOBACHTER NATUR , the new periodical from the BEOBACHTER group of Axel Springer Switzerland, with a focus on nature, the environment and sustainable action, appears for the first time on 6th February 2009. The magazine launches with a circulation of 380,000 copies and is published four times per year.

The Schleswig Holstein newspaper publisher (SHZ) takes over the Elmshorner Nachrichten regional newspaper as well as the holding in the Pinneberger Tageblatt (23.44 percent) from Axel Springer AG at the beginning of March. The transaction concerning the Elmshorner Nachrichten remains subject to approval by the German antitrust authority.

It is announced at the Annual Results Press Conference in March 2009, that Axel Springer achieved record results in the fiscal year 2008 for the fifth straight year in spite of a sharp downturn in the economic cycle. The CEO Dr. Mathias Döpfner announced a record dividend of EUR 4.40 for shareholders. Axel Springer increased group turnover by 5.8 percent in the 2008 fiscal year to EUR 2,728.5 million (PY.: EUR 2,577.9 million). In spite of the difficult economic background, Axel Springer achieved new record highs in EBITDA and EBITA for the 2008 fiscal year, as well as the highest consolidated profit in the company’s history of EUR 571.1 million.

Axel Springer AG, Berlin, and the PubliGroupe AG, Lausanne, agree in March to continue to run the online marketing service provider ZANOX.de AG as a united joint venture. Both shareholders are thereby forgoing the originally planned formation of two consolidable units, with one partner having a majority in each respectively. In the course of this decision, there is an adjustment in the ownership structure of ZANOX.de AG: in future Axel Springer holds 52.5 percent of zanox (previously 60 percent); PubliGroupe controls a share of 47.5 percent (previously 40 percent).

BILD.de expands its regional offering on the Internet from the end of March and in future offers even more local content. Bremen, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover, Cologne, Leipzig, the Ruhr Area and Stuttgart are added online as regional portals at www.bild.de  with immediate effect alongside Hamburg, Berlin and Munich.

FINANCIAL GATES, the specialist publisher of finance and business media from the F.A.Z. publishing group, takes over the business magazine “Markt und Mittelstand” from Markt und Mittelstand Gmbh & Co. KG, a subsidiary of Axel Springer Financial Media with effect from 1st May 2009.

From mid-May, the specialist motorsports magazine AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT is published by the Axel Springer Auto Verlag as a “magazine in a magazine” in the whole retail sale circulation of Europe’s biggest car magazine AUTO BILD . With this change of concept, the title is positioning itself as the publication with the highest circulation in Europe on motoring subjects.

Axel Springer Financial Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axel Springer AG, increases its share in wallstreet:online AG to 75.01 percent in April (previously 71.9 percent). The remaining shares in Germany's largest finance and stock exchange community remain widely spread.

Axel Springer Polska launches the Polish portal of the online job fair StepStone in April. The business, with its head office in Warsaw, is adding StepStone.pl to its existing range of recruitment media, which includes the online platforms praca.info Group, the Career Center at students.pl and the weekly supplement Praca in DZIENNIK.

The management board of Axel Springer AG decides in April to implement a bonus issue and share participation program . This gives employees an opportunity to participate even more strongly in corporate development. Both programs are voluntary and one-off. The group of employees authorized to participate is approximately 8,000. All of the shares issued within the framework of the two programs are made available from the assets of Axel Springer AG.

Lothar Lanz replaces Steffen Naumann as the new Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer in May 2009. Until June 2008 Lothar Lanz was Chief Financial Officer of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG.

 

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Berlin publishing house, Friede Springer unveils the “Balancing Act” sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol on 25th May in front of the main entrance to the Axel Springer House. The 5.70 m high work of art – a man balancing on a wall – is framed by eleven original pieces of the Berlin Wall. In the heart of the capital of a united Germany, it symbolizes the power of freedom and self-determination. The commemorative speech was delivered by former German President Richard von Weizsäcker.

 

In July, the youth titles MÄDCHEN, POPCORN and STARFLASH previously published by the Axel Springer Mediahouse Munich, the women's magazine JOLIE as well as the 50 percent share in Family Media are sold to the OZ Verlag publishing house in Rheinfelden. From now on, BILD der FRAU and FRAU von HEUTE magazines come under the responsibility of the new Program Guides and Women's Magazines Publishing Group. The music titles ROLLING STONE, MUSIKEXPRESS and METAL HAMMER relocate from Munich to Berlin and become part of the WELT Group.

 

Axel Springer and PubliGroupe together purchase a 50.1 percent stake in Digital Window Ltd . at the beginning of August. The company is one of the leading affiliate networks in Great Britain, the biggest European market for performance-based online marketing. With this acquisition the two companies are continuing their successful partnership. Together, they already run the online marketing service provider Zanox, based in Berlin.

 

Axel Springer AG remained highly profitable during the first half of 2009 through its successful cross-media business model, the strength of its brands and strict cost management. Group turnover for the first half-year of EUR 1,254.8 million was 6.6 percent lower than the previous year (EUR 1,343.1 million). The Group generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) adjusted for non recurring items and purchase price allocations of EUR 162.3 million compared to EUR 213.9 million for the same period last year. Axel Springer was thus able to maintain the EBITDA yield at a high level of 12.9 percent (PY: 15.9 percent) despite difficult market conditions. Consolidated profit for the reporting period was EUR 267.3 million and was influenced by non-operating factors. The EUR 210.3 million profit from the sale of holdings in regional newspapers contributed to consolidated profit. Adjusted for essential non-operating items, consolidated profit for the first half-year amounted to EUR 77.5 million compared to EUR 112.9 million for the same period of the previous year.

As part of a reception in the Axel Springer Building at the end of August, BILD editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann presented the blueprints of the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp to the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanjahu, who is in Berlin for political discussions. The blueprints are the only original documents of this kind to have been discovered in Germany so far. BILD acquired the documents in late summer 2008 in order to make them available both to the public and the academic world. The documents will be transferred to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Axel Springer AG secured itself a majority holding in StepStone ASA, Oslo, at the beginning of September with the purchase of approximately 19.3 percent of the shares and now has a participation of almost 53 percent. With this acquisition, Axel Springer AG is further pursuing its strategic goals of a an increase in internationalization and digitization. Axel Springer has had a holding of approximately 33 percent in StepStone ASA since December 2008. Axel Springer has had a 49.9 percent holding in StepStone Deutschland AG, a subsidiary of StepStone ASA, since 2004.

autobild.lt , an international licensed edition of autobild.de , was launched In Lithuania at the beginning of September. The AUTO BILD online portal is operated by Veido Periodikos Leidykla. The publishing house has published AUTO BILD Lithuania, market leader among the Lithuanian auto magazines, since 2005. In addition AUTO BILD is launching a licensed edition in Belarus.

The Axel Springer Academy announced in September a cooperation agreement with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. A groundbreaking exchange program and intensive courses for investigative journalism are within the scope of the collaboration with the most prestigious journalism school in the world.

From the middle of September there has been a new national quality daily newspaper in Poland. DZIENNIK GAZETA PRAWNA unites the newspaper brands DZIENNIK and Gazeta Prawna in one paper. The new title is published by Infor Biznes, a Joint Venture between Axel Springer Poland and the business publisher Infor PL.

The Axel Springer Academy announces its SCOOP! idea contest for the second time in October 2009. The contest is aimed at all media makers who would like to put their own journalistic project into practice, but do not know how to make their idea reality. The winner of the first SCOOP! contest in 2007/2008 was Dennis Buchmann's magazine HUMANGLOBALER ZUFALL, which received many awards.

Editions Mondadori Axel Springer (EMAS), the French joint enterprise of the Mondadori France publishing group and Axel Springer France, takes over the auto magazines AUTO JOURNAL and SPORT AUTO from Mondadori France. As a result, EMAS will in future, alongside the leading, weekly auto magazine AUTO PLUS, also publish the leading biweekly auto title as well as the leading monthly magazine in the sport and luxury vehicle segment.

 

The first edition of the new magazine HÖRZU WISSEN is published on 22nd October 2009. The periodical provides 132 pages of reports and coverage of popular knowledge topics in the categories of Nature & Environment, Science, Health, History and Biography. HÖRZU WISSEN is published every two months on Thursdays for 3.50 Euros.

The new application (App) for the iPhone from the B.Z. has been available in the iTunes Store since the end of October 2009. With this new mobile service, all of the news, reports and photo galleries from Berlin's biggest newspaper can be viewed anywhere and anytime.

 

Axel Springer Russia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axel Springer AG, launches FORBES ONLINE in November, thereby further extending the portfolio of the Russian FORBES brand family.

Axel Springer confirmed the strength of its cross-media business model with business development exceeding expectations in the third quarter of 2009. In a continuing difficult market environment, the Group increased its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) adjusted for non recurring items and purchase price allocations by 10.2 percent to EUR 102.2 million. The EBITDA of 264.5 million Euros for the first nine months of the 2009 fiscal year however remained below the EBITDA of 306.6 million Euros for the same period the previous year. With robust circulation revenues and a slight reduction of the downturn in advertising revenues, the third quarter decrease in sales was lower than in the two previous quarters: Group turnover in the third quarter amounted to 631.4 million Euros compared to 651.0 million Euros in the previous year's third quarter. In the first nine months, Group turnover was 1,886.2 million Euros (previous year: 1,994.1 million Euros).

A preview edition of the new digital magazine WELT am SONNTAG eMag is published for the first time at the end of November. The online extension of Germany's biggest quality Sunday newspaper provides its users with exclusive content alongside multimedia stories from all sections of the paper with animated graphics, video and audio clips. The launch of the magazine is planned for spring 2010.

In November, Axel Springer Russia acquires 100 percent of the shares in G + J Russia. Within the scope of the transaction, the complete portfolio, including the titles GEO, GALA Biografia, GEO Traveller and GEOLENOK as well as the online offerings geo.ru , moi-roditeli.ru and moizvezdi.ru is transferred to the Axel Springer AG subsidiary, which will in future operate these print and online brands under license.

With its takeover of StepStone ASA , Axel Springer acquires Europe's leading job portal and provider of Human Capital Management Solutions. Axel Springer secured itself a majority of StepStone ASA as early as September 2009, and as a result, in compliance with legal provisions, made a public takeover bid to all stockholders. In the meantime Axel Springer holds 100 percent of the shares.  

Axel Springer AG launched a Premium Initiative with innovative, payable online offerings which offer users attractive content and a simple payment system. With the new applications (Apps) from BILD and WELT, two mobile services have been initially available for download as exclusive subscription models since 9th December 2009.

Within the framework of the Axel Springer Premium Initiative, the web presence of BERLINER MORGENPOST and HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT launched chargeable services on 15th December 2009 which offer users attractive content and a simple payment system. These regional brands place both free and premium content as "freemium" offerings on their internet platforms. Also from the middle of December, the HÖRZU program guide offers iPhone and iPod touch users an up-to-date, chargeable TV guide, HÖRZUtv, for mobile use.

Axel Springer AG is opening a special database on the Internet in the middle of January: Approximately 5,900 newspaper articles from the years 1966 to 1968 will be accessible at axelspringer.de/medienarchiv68, documenting how the editorial offices of Axel Springer reported on the 1968 movement at the time. Interested readers will thus have direct access to the original sources and can make up their own minds.

20 million Euros - this impressive sum was collected at the BILD Charity Donation Gala "We want to help! - A Heart for Children" for the benefit of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti on 19th January.

Only ten days before his 97th birthday, Ernst Cramer, journalist, adviser to Axel Springer and Chairman of the Board of the Axel Springer Foundation dies on 19th January. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer AG: "The death of Ernst Cramer is a great loss for our company. Following Axel Springer himself, he was the most prominent figure in the publishing house. He was full of confidence and plans right up until the end. A fulfilled life has come to an end. The Management Board, Supervisory Board and employees of Axel Springer AG are in mourning with his family."

Axel Springer is launching a new, innovative "Personal TV" service at the end of January. The "watchmi - Personal Television from TV DIGITAL" software automatically records programs based on the user's individual preferences, and organizes them into personal TV channels. watchmi can be found in the download gallery of the Windows Media Center or at www.watchmi.tv.

The Axel Springer AG acquires 24 percent of the shares in InterRed GmbH in in early February. The software vendor and technology service company is a leading provider of content management systems, knowledge management and "Multi-channel publishing" to the production of newspapers and magazines. The software solutions of InterRed have been already in use at Axel Springer for several years, including the content management systems for the online presence of various magazine brands.

BILD.de, Germany's largest news and entertainment portal, is expanding its sports facilities in the video area and offers from mid-February all the rounds of the Turkish football league on a live stream.

StepStone, a leading German online job portal and subsidiary of Axel Springer AG, takes over 100 percent of the shares of the technology provider Jobanova Ltd. in February and strengthens its competence in the field "Search". Jobanova has a semantic search technology that analyzes the relevance of search results increases significantly and leads together candidates and even more efficient company.

In early March, the Axel Springer AG acquires 74.9 percent of the shares in the market leader for online brochures and mobile couponing date of purchase, kaufDA. The company launched in 2009 with headquarters in Berlin offers merchants the ability to offer local advertising in the mobile and stationary Internet.

Axel Springer achieved a new record result in fiscal year 2010. With a significant increase in EBITDA to EUR 510.6 million, the Group earned operationally for the first time more than half a billion euros. All operating segments improved their profitability over the previous year and achieved double-digit EBITDA returns. Here Axel Springer has benefited from contributions to growth in the digital and international business as well as by the anti-cyclical investment in brands.

BILD launches a new digital online lifestyle magazine for women in early July: STYLEBOOK.de. Subjects are celebrities, fashion and beauty: every day. In addition, the portal offers a generous look videos, instructions and styling guide and fashion blogs.

aufeminin.com, world number one women's portal, acquires Netmums.com, one of the leading British "parent Web sites" in early August 2011. The acquisition strengthens aufeminin.com’s position as a leading women's portal – they are already present in the UK with sofeminine.co.uk. Netmums.com, based in London, was launched in 2000 as a "parent site" "by mothers for mothers” and offers discussion forums and chat rooms as well as primarily editorial content created by users.

For the first time in its history, BILD is not produced from Germany, but in the United States. To mark the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, Europe's largest daily newspaper production moves to facilities in the heart of Manhattan, designing the current issue there. Also, the online portal BILD.de reported on the day itself live from New York and provides users with a comprehensive multi-media special to commemorate the tragic events.

During his first official state visit to Germany, Europe's largest newspaper BILD welcomes Pope Benedict XVI. with a special promotion: The front page "We are Pope!" covers the two sides of the entire facade of the 19-story wing of the Axel Springer building in Berlin from 19 to 27 September 2011.

The Consumer Information Portal kaufDA, at which Axel Springer holds a majority, started its international expansion in France, with the new online platform BONIAL, in the beginning of December 2011.

In December 2011, zanox, Europe's leading performance advertising network, opened a branch in Brazil and is expanding its business to 13 offices around the world on.

2012

The media group Madsack acquired end of February 2012 11.3 percent of the shares in the real estate portal Immonet from Axel Springer AG.

The Axel Springer AG and the global growth investor General Atlantic LLC agree in March 2012 on a 30-percent share of General Atlantic in the newly formed company "Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH" in which the online classified business of Axel Springer is now bundled. Axel Springer takes the leading French property portal SeLoger, the German real estate portal Immonet and the European job portal StepStone in the joint venture, which is rated at EUR 1.25 billion.

The European online job portal StepStone continues its international growth strategy in the beginning of April 2012 by buying the Totaljobs Group, which operates the leading job portal Totaljobs.com in the UK.

On 12 April, the Federal Ministry of Finance honors the publisher Axel Springer on the occasion of his upcoming 100th Birthday with a 55-cent commemorative stamp, which has a circulation of 5.8 million copies published.

The company celebrated on 2 May the 100th Birthday of its founder.