Bertelsmann Blames Easter

Media giant Bertelsmann is reporting its first-quarter revenues rose from $5.05 billion to $5.14 billion and is blaming a late Easter for a 16 percent fall in pre-tax earnings.

Last year the Easter ad sales business fell in Q1 and the Guterrsloh-based firm, co-owner of BMG Rights Management and parent company of pan-European broadcaster RTL and publisher Random House, saw its earnings before interest and tax reach a record-breaking $416.5 million.

Without the benefit of the Easter boost, this year’s pre-tax earnings were down to $348 million.

The company also said the earnings drop was partly due to “start-up and programme investments.”

However, the group did pay down its debt. On December 31 it stood at $2,718 million but by March 31 it had been reduced to $2,473 million.