At a Glance

In the 2023 financial year, Bertelsmann recorded a solid business performance and benefited from the diversified positioning of the Group and the growth momentum generated from its Boost strategy. Despite portfolio- and currency-related declines, Group revenues remained stable at €20.2 billion (previous year: €20.2 billion). In particular, the book publishing, music and education businesses achieved revenue growth. In contrast, above all, revenues for the TV businesses declined strongly in light of the challenging TV advertising markets, lower revenues at Fremantle and in the printing businesses, as well as a portfolio-related drop in revenue of the services businesses following the sale of Majorel shares. Organic revenue growth was 0.8 percent. At €3,119 million, the operating EBITDA adjusted was down from the level of the previous year (previous year: €3,192 million). The services and education businesses in particular achieved earnings growth. Profits were dampened mainly by the development of advertising revenue for the TV businesses, especially in Germany, and the sale of Majorel shares. The EBITDA margin decreased to 15.5 percent (previous year: 15.8 percent). Group profit increased to €1,326 million (previous year: €1,052 million), despite higher restructuring expenses. This is mainly attributable to the capital gains from the sale of the Majorel shares.
Key Figures
Group revenues in € billions
Operating EBITDA adjustedin € millions
Group profit in € millions
Equityin € billions
Thomas Rabe
Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann
Financial Year 2023
»We look back on a good financial year 2023. We grew our Group profit by more than 25 percent to 1.3 billion euros. This put it above one billion euros for the ninth consecutive year. In a persistently challenging economic environment, Bertelsmann benefited from the broad positioning and growth impetus of our Boost strategy – in 2023 alone, our Boost investments amounted to €1.4 billion.«
Outlook 2024
»Bertelsmann’s financial position is solid. For the current financial year 2024, we expect a moderate increase in revenues and earnings in our continuing operations. Due to the already completed sale of Majorel and the planned sales of RTL Nederland and DDV Mediengruppe, we expect to see a sharp decline in revenues and earnings.«
Rolf Hellermann
CFO of Bertelsmann
Key Figures

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in € millions 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Business Development      
Group revenues 20,169 20,245 18,696 17,289 18,023
Operating EBITDA adjusted 3,119 3,192 3,241 3,143 2,887
EBITDA margin (in percent)1 15.5 15.8 17.3 18.2 16.0
Group profit 1,326 1,052 2,310 1,459 1,091
Investments2 1,438 1,672 1,954 920 1,240
Consolidated Balance Sheet  
Equity 15,165 15,043 13,606 10,725 10,445
Equity ratio in percent 46.5 45.8 42.8 36.1 38.2
Total assets 32,622 32,835 31,769 29,704 27,340
Net financial debt 2,267 2,249 959 2,055 3,364
Economic debt3 4,713 4,785 3,475 5,207 6,511
Leverage factor 1.8 1.8 1.3 1.9 2.6
Dividends to Bertelsmann shareholders 220 220 180 - 180
Distribution on profit participation certificates 44 44 44 44 44
Employee profit sharing 74 63 89 88 96
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Bertelsmann Divisions

RTL Group is a leading entertainment company across broadcast, streaming, content and digital, with interests in 60 television channels, seven streaming services and 36 radio stations. The Group’s families of TV channels are either number one or number two in six European countries. RTL Deutschland is the Group’s largest business unit and Germany’s first cross-media champion, operating across TV, streaming, radio, digital and publishing. RTL Group’s streaming services include RTL+ in Germany and Hungary, Videoland in the Netherlands and 6play/M6+ in France. Fremantle is one of the world’s largest creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content, responsible for around 11,000 hours of programming per year, alongside an international network of teams operating in 27 countries. Bertelsmann is the majority shareholder of RTL Group, holding 75 percent of its shares.

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission to ignite a universal passion for reading by creating books for everyone. The company employs more than 10,000 people globally. With more than 300 imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction, nonfiction print and digital English-, German-, Spanish- and Portuguese-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 16,000 new titles and more than 700 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read and lauded authors. Penguin Random House is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

BMG is an integrated music publishing and recordings business and the world’s fourth-largest international music company. BMG’s distinctive pitch is a relentless focus on global service to its artist and songwriter clients, combining creative insight and support with the best in technology and analytics. BMG’s 20 offices across 13 core music markets represent over three million songs and recordings, including many of the most renowned and successful catalogs in popular music history. With its integrated technology platform, artist-friendly culture and commitment to help artists maximize their income, BMG aims to be the best company in music to do business with. BMG is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

Arvato Group is an internationally active service group that develops and implements customized solutions for various business processes for customers in diverse industries in more than 20 countries. The group’s solution portfolio, which ranges from supply chain solutions (Arvato) and financial services (Riverty) to IT services (Arvato Systems), is used by globally renowned companies from a wide variety of industries – from telecommunications providers and energy suppliers to banks and insurance companies, as well as e-commerce, IT and Internet providers. Arvato Group is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

The Bertelsmann Marketing Services division is a cross-channel full-service provider for the advertising industry in which all of Bertelsmann’s direct marketing and print activities are bundled. Bertelsmann Marketing Services comprises four units: first, the German offset printers Mohn Media, GGP Media and Vogel Druck; second, the Book Printing Group in the United States, which consists of several offset and digital printers specializing in the production of books; third, the Digital Marketing Unit, which includes Germany’s leading content agency Territory, Campaign, DeutschlandCard and the Dialog business; and fourth, the Sonopress Group, with the storage media producer Sonopress and the printing and packaging specialist Topac. Bertelsmann Marketing Services is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

The Bertelsmann Education Group is home to leading providers of education and workforce management solutions. Focusing on the sectors of healthcare and education, the Group’s companies deliver innovative ways of teaching, learning and performance optimization for students, professionals and organizations. Portfolio companies include the leading US continuing education and workforce management solution provider Relias, the professional practice-oriented Alliant International University, Brazil’s leading medical education group Afya, and further venture fund investments. The Bertelsmann Education Group is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

Bertelsmann Investments (BI) comprises Bertelsmann’s global venture capital activities as well as the Bertelsmann Next growth unit. The venture capital arm includes the funds Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), as well as selected fund and direct holdings in markets including Europe, the United States, Brazil, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The Bertelsmann Next unit advances the entrepreneurial development of new growth sectors and business areas, including digital health, HR Tech and mobile ad tech. To date, around €1.9 billion has been invested in about 500 innovative companies and funds through Bertelsmann Investments. Bertelsmann Investments currently holds over 350 active investments worldwide through its network of start-ups and funds.