BMG Revenue Up Double-Digits in First Half of 2019, Driven By Digital Growth

Alexandra Gavillet
Lewis Capaldi

BMG garnered €49 million euros ($55.7 million) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) on revenues of €269 million ($305.8 million) for the six-month period ended June 30, 2019, according to the company's earnings announcement.

That represents an operating EBITDA improvement from the €42 million ($47.7 million) the company produced in the corresponding year-earlier period when revenues were €241 million ($274  million). That represents a 16.7% improvement in EBITDA and 11.6% growth in revenue. Moreover, as a percentage of revenue, BMG operating EBITDA improved to 18.2% from 17.4%.

Bertelsmann said that the fastest component of BMG's growth was its recorded music operation, but also noted that its publishing business also showed strong revenue increases. Overall, the company said digital formats are driving growth in both businesses and now comprise 56% or revenue, or about €150 million ($190 million).

Looking at the recorded music segment, the company cited releases by Keith Richards, Kylie Minogue, Lil Dicky, Avril Lavigne, Dido, the Cranberries, AJR and Adel Tawil, as well as hit albums by Jack Savoretti (UK) and Kontra K (Denmark), as driving revenues. Further, the company said it signed new record contracts were signed with The Shires, Seeed, the Zac Brown Band, Sugar Ray and Richard Marx.

Also, within recorded music, Black Sabbath extended its deal with BMG; and the company launched the Trojan Jamaica label.

Moving over to publishing, the company said that Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Love" has sold over 3 million copies globally was a standout, while noting that BMG songwriters were involved in 24 number one hits across the Billboard charts. It also said new publishing agreements were signed with Cage the Elephant, AnnenMayKantereit and Jason Duke, while it extended its global music publishing partnership with Latin music label, DEL Records.

Finally, BMG launched its 15th international office, in Hong Kong, to further strengthen its footprint in the Asian market, the company said.

Overall, BMG parent Bertelsmann posted €1.292 billion ($1.47 billion) in operating EBITDA on revenues of €8.612 billion ($9.8 billion), which represents a 20.5% improvement from the €1.071 billion ($1.22 billion) in operating EBITDA and 4.6% growth in revenue from the €8.237 billion ($9.36 billion) produced in the year earlier six month period.

"Bertelsmann had a very successful first half of 2019,” Bertelsmann chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe said in a statement. "In the past few months, we once again stepped up the pace of our growth; the expansion of our digital and growth businesses is increasingly paying off. Bertelsmann is now a faster-growing, more digital, more international, and [a] more diversified company. We will further increase our investments in local premium content and service offerings in the years ahead."


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