The German media group Bertelsmann reported Thursday that revenues increased 4.3 percent to 11.82 billion euros (over the previous year's 11.33 billion euros) in the first nine months of 2014. At 1.48 billion euros ($1.84 billion), adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) exceeded the high level of the previous year (1.46 billion euros). The EBITDA margin was 12.5 percent (previous: 12.9 percent).
Strategic acquisitions and other transactions of the past 18 months contributed significantly to these increases -- including the combination of Penguin and Random House, Arvato's takeover of the financial services company Gothia and the e-commerce service provider Netrada. In 2014 Bertelsmann assumed full ownership of the music rights company BMG. BMG took over the publishers Talpa and Union Square as well as the Montana and Hal David rights catalogs. Billboard learned from Bertelsmann sources that BMG will concentrate in the next months in recorded music by buying labels and stars' catalogues. Insiders estimate that BMG will invest a three digit million euro amount.