Axel Springer – one of the largest print and media companies in Europe – has predicted that its digital division will drive success in 2012. The company’s online ad sales created a 16% gain in revenue in 2011, and Axel Springer expects core profit to rise by a single-digit percentage this year on the back of a further increase in advertising revenue.
The German company acquired affiliate marketers Zanox and Digital Window in 2009. Its digital media business – which includes those two companies – then jumped by 42% last year, helping to offset a decline in print advertising revenue. Chief Executive Mathias Doepfner is convinced that digital is of utmost importance to the business, saying: “The persistent digitisation of our business at home and abroad remains the key to the long-term success of the company.”
Most of Europe – if not the world – has been affected by a decline in print revenue, so the fact that Axel Springer’s EBITDA was both higher than its figure in 2010 and above average for 2011 really proves the importance of a strong digital offering. The company’s revenue increased by 16% to €593.4m, beating the average of estimates in a Reuters poll for the same period that came in at €591.