Axel Springer’s digital results lead to record earnings

Axel Springer today announced posted record results, with group sales of about €3.19 billion for 2011, thanks to growth in its digital operations and international print media. The German publisher’s digital media revenue increased 35 percent to €962.1 million, MarketWatch reported.

Its 2012 Ebitda is expected to rise, thanks to another digital earnings increase. Print earnings, however, are expected to decline, the company stated.

The publisher is also spinning of its online classifieds into a new company, called Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH, valued at €1.25 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic is paying €237 million for its stake, Reuters noted.

Axel Springer was one of the main publishers to push for paid digital content in 2009, when it began charging for mobile apps. Today it has 35 paid mobile apps, 24 paid tablet apps and other various fees for its digital content from news and magazine titles, paidContent explained. However, the company’s annual report notes that increasing popularity of paid digital content means increased competition in the space.

“Therefore, it is entirely possible that future revenues could be offset by higher costs to win and retain customers,” the report states.

Image: Axel Springer

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