Axel Springer again achieves all-time record profit in 2005




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16.02.06

Axel Springer again achieves all-time record profit in 2005

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Axel Springer AG released the company’s preliminary key figures for the 2005 financial year after a session of the Audit Committee today. According to the figures the company’s earnings situation once again improved significantly during the reporting period. Axel Springer saw its earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) and adjusted for special items grow to around EUR 338 million. The company thus exceeded the previous year’s EBITA of EUR 243 million – as adjusted for the effects of the Kirch settlement – by around 39 percent as well as the previous year’s figure of EUR 336 million, which included the effects of the Kirch settlement. The revival of the German advertising market during the second half of 2005 contributed to the growth of business.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer AG, said: “Our group enjoyed the best result ever in 2005. It was even better than the previous year’s result, which included the profit from the Kirch settlement. This shows that Axel Springer, with its solid business model, is in great shape and in an outstanding position to grow and to invest.”

Döpfner added: “With an EBITA margin of over 14 percent we clearly exceeded our midterm profit target and gained additional leeway for investments during the coming years. We will therefore continue to focus on our strategic priorities of market leadership in our German-language core business, internationalization and digitization.”

Axel Springer has grown its core business in a still difficult market environment, in which the development of the German advertising market stood out positively: Revenues from advertising and circulation increased by 2.4 percent from EUR 2,115 million to EUR 2,165 million. Total revenues for the 2005 financial year came to EUR 2,392 million (previous year: EUR 2,402 million); this includes revenues from the rotogravure printing activities through June 30, 2005. Axel Springer thus achieved an EBITA margin of 14.1 percent (previous year: 10.1 percent, not including the Kirch effect).

According to preliminary figures, net profit for the 2005 financial year climbed to an historic level of EUR 231 million and exceeded the previous year’s figure of EUR 148 million by around 56 percent. At the shareholders meeting the management board – subject to the approval of the supervisory board – plans to propose that the dividend for the 2005 financial year be increased to EUR 1.70 per share (previous year: EUR 1.20 plus EUR 0.25 special dividend).

The complete annual results will be released by Axel Springer AG at the annual press conference on March 8, 2006 in Berlin.

The German version of this press release is available from www.axelspringer.de in the section “Presse-Service”.

Press Contact Axel Springer SE: Edda Fels
Tel: +49 30 2591 77600