Bertelsmann projects revenue rise

Media giant Bertelsmann expects revenues to continue to climb during the current fiscal year, despite Germany’s growing recession.

Worldwide, the conglomerate expects revenues to rise by 1 billion marks ($ 617 million) to $ 10.4 billion.

Currency exchange rates, particularly dollar to Deutschemark rates, have cost the firm an estimated $ 370 million.

Post-tax earnings will “significantly exceed” last year’s gains of $ 351 million. Bertelsmann certificates will again pay holders a 15% dividend at the end of November.

In capital shape

Mark Wossner, overseer of Bertelsmann’s publishing, music, electronic media and software empire, said, “Bertelsmann is in very good shape and ready for expansion of its capital base.”

He added the media industry is currently one of Germany’s few growth industries — but warned of potential “strangulation” if further restriction and legislation were to be imposed on private broadcast media here.

Bertelsmann’s Ufa division is currently one of the targets of massive antitrust investigations in Germany. Wossner urged legislators to allow German private companies to strengthen their media holdings rather than restrict them, warning that otherwise either foreign or non-media companies would enter the German market.