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Springer revenues off 7% through May

The Axel Springer Verlag’s operating revenues declined 7%, ad income 3%, during the first five months of 1993, finance director Claus Liesner said at a press conference during which the German publishing giant revealed its annual budget.

Overall profits, however, rose sharply to $ 35.3 million in fiscal 1992 from $ 6.9 million in 1991.

The firm will pay shareholders a dividend of $ 7.40 per share certificate. Dividends were not paid last year because of losses.

Springer revenues were down 3.1% in 1992 to $ 2.2 billion.

Owns private TV webs

Springer, in partnership with Leo Kirch, owns many of Germany’s private TV webs. Kirch, in turn, holds 35% of the Springer group.

Springer chairman Gunter Wille slammed antitrust authorities that are taking legal measures to reduce the Kirch/Springer holdings in SAT1. The web’s license is threatened in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, and the two media majors are facing a deadline next month to shed shares. Wille vowed that no concessions will be made.

He did, however, say a reform of SAT1 was in sight. The web is struggling to keep up with rival RTL, and just axed longtime head Werner Klatten. Wille wants a consolidation of the station, which is based in Mainz, Hamburg and Berlin.

Sport niche channel DSF will get more football rights for the 1993-94 season, it was promised. Kirch and Springer commonly own a sport rights group that holds the license.