The X Factor

Revenue drops 1.9% to $9.8 billion in first half of year

LONDON — Net profit at Bertelsmann, Europe’s biggest media company, rose 11% to €306 million ($405 million) in the first six months of this year.

Revenue dropped 1.9% to €7.43 billion ($9.8 billion), due to a difficult market environment and several structurally declining businesses.

Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO, said: “We have made good progress on our four strategic priorities — strengthening the core, digital transformation, building growth platforms, and expanding our activities in growth regions.”

Bertelsmann owns Europe’s largest broadcaster RTL Group, music rights company BMG, book publisher Penguin Random House, magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, and FremantleMedia, which produces and distributes shows like “X-Factor,” “Idol” and “Got Talent.”

Highlights included: RTL Group’s acquisition of a stake in YouTube channels operator Broadband TV; the successful launch of RTL Nitro in German, 6ter in France and RTL Big Thrill in India; the inking of a pact between FremantleMedia and the BBC to jointly develop and produce new children’s formats; the creation of global publishing group Penguin Random House; Dan Brown’s “Inferno” selling more than 4 million copies, mid-May to June 30, in all English-language territories; and BMG signing up Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

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