German media giant Axel Springer, licking its wounds after a failed drive to buy the Financial Times, reported a steep drop in second-quarter earnings Tuesday due largely to one-off effects.
The Berlin-based publisher of Europe's top-selling newspaper Bild said that net profit plunged 93 percent during the March-to-June period compared with one year ago, falling to 48.8 million euros ($53.5 million) from 681.6 million euros.
A company spokesman told AFP that the sharp decline this year was largely in comparison to a windfall seen in 2014 from the unloading of several German regional newspapers and magazines to the Funke Mediengruppe as well as some operations in the Czech Republic.
Second-quarter sales climbed seven percent to 796.7 million euros as the company pivoted toward digital activities.
"In the first half of the year, we continued to invest heavily in digital business models at home and abroad," chief executive Mathias Doepfner said in a statement.
"The strong organic growth of our digital activities confirmed our strategic direction. We expect significant growth in earnings for the full year 2015."
Axel Springer last month lost what was reportedly a year-long drive to buy the Financial Times to Japanese rival Nikkei, which outbid it with a $1.3 billion offer.
Despite the crushing setback, the company founded after World War II has said it would press ahead with an aggressive acquisition strategy to bolster its international profile, particularly in digital media.