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Bertelsmann sales rise 2.3%

Publishing and entertainment group numbers also up

BERLIN — German media giant Bertelsmann announced on Thursday that its sales reached 11.7 billion marks ($6.5 billion) in the second half of 1997, an increase of 2.3% over the same period of the previous year.

The publishing and entertainment group said its operating profit and net profit also improved during the last six months of 1997, but gave no figures. The relatively modest sales increase was due to the reorganization of its portfolio, Bertelsmann said.

BMG Entertainment was Bertelsmann’s strongest unit, upping its turnover 14% to $2.3 billion. During the same period, sales at magazine publishing subsidiary Gruener + Jahr grew 8.5% to $1.4 billion.