German media giant Axel Springer said Wednesday that one-off effects hit its bottom line in 2012, but that underlying earnings and revenues rose on the of back of its strong digital activities.
Springer said in a statement that net profit fell by 4.7 percent to 275.8 million euros ($360 million) last year.
But this was "due to non-operating, non-recurring effects and purchase price allocation effects," the statement explained.
Underlying or operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), rose by 5.8 percent to 628 million euros and revenues were up 3.9 percent at 3.31 billion euros.
"The year 2012 marked an important turning point for Axel Springer: for the first time ever, we generated revenues of more than one billion euros on our digital media activities, more than any other operating segment," said chief executive Mathias Doepfner.
In addition, the growth was "profitable, with higher EBITDA margins than before," he said.
As the group is tackling declining circulation and revenues in its traditional print business, Springer intended to pursue the digitization of its business "with even more speed and vigour," Doepfner said.
Springer publishes the mass-circulation daily Bild.
"Although our print media will continue to make an important contribution to the success of our business for a long time, our goal is clear: we want to become the leading digital media group."
Looking ahead, Springer said it is pencilling in "a low single-digit percentage increase in total revenues, assuming that the structurally declining trends of the print business do not worsen considerably."
With higher spending needed to finance the expansion of its digital business and "significant expenses for structural adjustments in the print business", the group was forecasting "a single-digit percentage decrease in group EBITDA, compared to 2012," it added.