Bertelsmann posted a first-quarter net loss as the German media giant felt the fallout over its support of the former Napster P2P service.

The Guetersloh-based firm lost €117 million ($159 million) in first period, vs a profit of €60 million ($80 million) a year earlier.

Bertelsmann says it took a €114 million ($155 million) charge, largely because of costs and provisions for ongoing litigation related to its sponsorship of Napster in 2000, and settlements with EMI and Warner Music Group.

Group revenue also dropped slightly during the quarter to €4.38 billion ($5.95 billion). The decline was expected, however, as the corporation no longer reports sales from its BMG Music Publishing business, which it sold last year to Vivendi.

"Overall, we got off to a good start this year and we expect to achieve our financial targets for 2007," comments Bertelsmann CFO Thomas Rabe in a statement. "We are pleased to have reached out-of-court settlements about Napster with most plaintiffs and claimants."

Just last month, Bertelsmann said it achieved its "most successful" financial result in 2006.

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