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Bertelsmann revs, profits skyrocket

Multimedia sector's sales double to $200 mil

BERLIN — German media giant Bertelsmann has posted a 12.2% increase in revenues to DM14.5 billion ($7.3 billion) in the first half of its fiscal year, with overall profits up 75% to some $500 million.

The group’s most active section was its multimedia business, which saw sales double to $200 million.

In the U.S., Bertelsmann saw an increase in revenue of 21% to $2.6 billion, while German operations climbed 11.4% to $2.1 billion.

The sale of its America Online shares last year contributed to the increased revenue. The company plans to continue investments in Internet activities, with $1.4 billion slated for this year.

In related news, the European Commission has OK’d Bertelsmann’s plans to set up a paperback-publishing joint venture with Spain’s Planeta called Nuevas Ediciones de Bolsillo. Planeta owns half of Bertelsmann’s Spanish-language Web bookstore, BOL Iberica.

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