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Publishing Director Gergely Tóth-Császár Takes over the Management of the Marketing Division at Ringier Axel Springer Hungary

After spending five years at Ringier Axel Springer, marketing director Angéla Holczer is leaving the company to continue her career in another sector. Gergely Tóth-Császár is taking over the management of the marketing division as publishing director of the magazine portfolio.

Angéla Holczer began her career in 2011 as an intern at the legal predecessor of Ringier Axel Springer Hungary, Axel Springer Budapest Publishing Ltd. and later on retruned to the media corporation as marketing manager in 2013 after gathering one year Big Four experience. She managed the division within the company's Advertising and Marketing Directorate from 2014, which became an autonomous organisation unit in January 2017. Numerous successful marketing communication projects got underway under the professional direction of Angéla, which Gergely Tóth-Császár will continue as publishing director of the magazine division from mid-June 2018, while concurrently maintaining his previous business scope of competence.

Gergely Tóth-Császár has been a prime member of the publishing company and its legal predecessors for fourteen years. His career took off in 2004 when he arrived at Axel Springer and he has gathered ten years of experience in the field of publishing titles as controller and business coordinator. He was appointed to the position of publishing director of the magazine divison in 2014 to oversee the successful operation of the media corporation and its weekly and monthly magazines, as well as its professional and business development.

"We accepted the decision taken by Angéla Holczer with much regret, but know that the management of the marketing division is in good hands. Gergely Tóth-Császár is taking over the management of an independent team accustomed to working with each other, with employees that will continue to ensure the continuity of the marketing activities. I wish Angéla every success in continuing to build her professional career on behalf of the whole management team and thank Gergely for accepting the appointment to manage the area," said Dr Mária Király, COO at Ringier Axel Springer Hungary.

About the Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group

The Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group is one of the leading media corporations in Hungary. Its portfolio includes strong brands, like market leader Blikk, Blikk.hu, popular Kiskegyed, well-known GLAMOUR and Profession.hu. Noizz.hu online trend magazine for the millennials target group was added to the portfolio in 2017. The Budapest-based Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group, the subsidiary of Swiss-German owned Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, is the leading integrated multimedia corporation in Central-Eastern Europe.

Press contact:

Eszter Varga
Corporate Communications Manager
M: +36 30 606 7215
eszter.varga@ringieraxelspringer.hu

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On course for further growth: Axel Springer off to a good start in 2018

Adjusted EBITDA is growing organically at a rate of 6.7 percent / Revenue increase of 6.9 percent / All operating segments with increases / Digital media are growing organically at a rate of 9.5 percent and account for 80.3 percent of the adjusted Group EBITDA / Full-year forecast confirmed

Axel Springer started the financial year 2018 with a good first quarter. The Group achieved increases in revenue and earnings in all operating segments. The driving factors were again the digital business models, in particular Classifieds Media. In the first three months digital activities generated organic growth of 9.5 percent, thereby contributing 70.1 percent of Group revenue in accordance with the new accounting standard IFRS 15. They even accounted for 80.3 percent of adjusted Group EBITDA. Overall, the Group increased revenues in the first quarter by 6.9 percent to EUR 773.5 million (PY: EUR 723.5 million). Organically, which means adjusted for consolidation and currency effects, the increase was 4.7 percent compared to the prior year period.

During the first three months of the year, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for non-recurring effects, increased considerably by 16.3 percent to EUR 171.2 million (PY: EUR 147.2 million). All three operating segments contributed to this increase in earnings. Organically, Group EBITDA grew by 6.7 percent in the reporting period. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 22.1 percent (PY: 20.3 percent). 

The Group further developed its position as a digital growth company in the first quarter of 2018. The Executive Board confirm their full-year forecast for 2018. On the revenue side it expects a rise in the low to mid single-digit percentage range. This growth in earnings is also going to be achieved organically. The Group expects adjusted EBITDA to rise by a figure in the low double-digit percentage range. For adjusted earnings per share, Axel Springer expects an increase in the low to mid single-digit percentage range. Organically, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share are expected to increase in the mid to high single-digit percentage range.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, comments: “We have used our digital strengths successfully again in the first quarter. The Classifieds Media have become established as a profitable growth driver. Our journalistic products have also clearly improved.”
The average number of employees at Axel Springer rose in the first quarter by 3.4 percent to 16,123 (PY: 15,598).

Consolidated net income well above the prior year
 
The consolidated net income, adjusted for non-recurring effects and depreciations due to purchase price allocations, increased in the first quarter by 3.7 percent to EUR 80.9 million (PY: EUR 78.1 million). Axel Springer therefore achieved adjusted earnings per share of EUR 0.63 compared to EUR 0.62 in the prior year. This amounts to an increase of 0.7 percent, whilst the organic growth was 2.2 percent. Unadjusted consolidated net income increased considerably in the reporting period by 79 percent to EUR 84.7 million (PY: EUR 47.3 million). The primary contributor to this increase was the one-time effect from the transfer of the Axel-Springer high-rise in Berlin to the Axel Springer Pensionstreuhandverein. Non-adjusted earnings per share increased from EUR 0.36 in the prior year period to EUR 0.69.
 
Free cash flow growing strong 
 
During the first quarter, Axel Springer increased its free cash flow, excluding the effects of real estate transactions at the company locations, by 31.0 percent to EUR 127.4 million (PY: EUR 97.2 million). This increase was partly due to the change in the recognition of rental payments as a result of the new lease accounting. Net debt amounted to EUR 1,391.8 million as of March 31, 2018 (December 31, 2017: EUR 1,020.2 million). The decisive factor here was the higher leasing liabilities due to the first-time application of the new lease accounting and the leasing of the Axel Springer-Passage and the Axel-Springer high-rise. Of the existing long-term credit lines of EUR 1,200.0 million, EUR 389.2 million was utilized by the end of March (December 31, 2017: EUR 365.0 million). At the end of the quarter, the equity ratio was 42.4 percent (compared with 43.5 percent in the first quarter 2017).

During the first quarter Doğan Holding initiated the sale of all media activities to the Turkish media group Demirören. In this context, Axel Springer has agreed with the Doğan Holding on an early exercisability of the put options for an amount of EUR 160 million for their around 7 percent shares in Doğan. Originally, Axel Springer had expected a sale in 2020/2022. The agreement is subject to the conditions precedent of the sale of the Doğan TV shares to Demirören and the unchanged bank guarantee for the put options.
 
Revenue and earnings are growing in all operating segments 
 
The Classifieds Media segment increased revenues in the first three months by 16.2 percent to EUR 290.2 million (PY: EUR 249.7 million). This was attributable primarily to organic growth of 11.3 percent which came mainly from the job portals. Following the acquisition of Logic-Immo by SeLoger, consolidation effects from the integration of French real estate portal were also reflected. The adjusted EBITDA from the segment increased substantially by 11.4 percent to EUR 112.6 million (PY: EUR 101.1 million). Organically, the increase amounted to 5.8 percent. With an adjusted EBITDA margin of 38.8 percent (PY: 40.5 percent) the Classifieds Media remained highly profitable despite capital expenditure for future growth.
 
The News Media segment also had a good start this year. Revenues in the segment increased by 1.7 percent in the first quarter to EUR 351.5 million (PY: EUR 345.7 million). This was attributed in particular to the continuing dynamic growth in the digital activities, especially foreign digital activities. The organic development of BUSINESS INSIDER was particularly positive. Furthermore, there were gratifying increases in advertising revenues, both in national and international business. BILD also contributed to this, stating higher print advertising revenues in the first quarter than in the prior year period. The adjusted EBITDA from News Media increased by 11.0 percent to EUR 49.4 million (PY: EUR 44.5 million). Organically, adjusted EBITDA was 1.6 percent below the prior year. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 14.1 percent compared with 12.9 percent in the prior year period.

Revenues in the Marketing Media segment increased in the reporting period by 5.0 percent to EUR 118.1 million (PY: EUR 112.5 million). Adjusted for consolidation and currency effects, revenues were 1.9 percent higher than in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA from the segment recorded significant growth of 55.8 percent, reaching EUR 23.6 million (PY: EUR 15.1 million). In addition to substantial organic growth (32.7 percent) due to the discontinuation of US business at Bonial as well as improved earnings at aufeminin and finanzen.net in the area of reachbased marketing, the consolidation effects in the performance marketing subsegment also contributed to this growth. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the segment increased to 19.9 percent, compared with 13.4 percent for the prior year period.
 
Note: This press release, the Group Key Figures and the quarterly statement are available in German and English at: www.axelspringer.com/q-1-2018.

Axel Springer SE press contact:

Jorg Keller Tel. no.: +49 30 2591 77617 jorg.keller@axelspringer.de

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New Executive in the Lead of Szilády Printing Plant

János Szlancsik takes over the leading role of Szilády Nyomda Kft. (Szilády Printing House Ltd.) operated by Ringier Axel Springer Hungary on 1st May 2018 after current executive Imre Futó is retiring at the end of April.

Imre Futó has been managing the printing house of Ringier Axel Springer Hungary and its predecessors for more than a quarter of a century. In March 1992, he was appointed to manage the company at the time called Déli Nyomda Kft. (Southern Printing House Ltd.) which printed the titles of the predecessor media company Axel Springer Budapest. János Szlancsik has been at Futó’s side as his deputy since 1992, he primarily oversees technical development and operations. János Szlancsik will be taking over the management of Szilády Nyomda Kft. operating in Kecskemét as managing director from 1 May 2018.

“I thank Imre Futó for his conscientious and loyal work of decades and I wish the very best for his years of retirement. I am glad we can preserve the continuity of high-level printing competences in the person of János Szlancsik who also knows our printing house and our production procedures like the back of his hand” – said József Bayer, CEO of Rinigier Axel Springer Hungary.

The printing house which currently operates with a staff of 40 employees undertakes production activities of certain Ringier Axel Springer Hungary print products, for example the daily Blikk, TV guides and crossword as well as puzzle magazines.

About the Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group

The Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group is one of the leading media corporations in Hungary. Its portfolio includes strong brands, like market leader Blikk, Blikk.hu, popular Kiskegyed, well-known GLAMOUR and Profession.hu. Noizz.hu online trend magazine for the millennials target group was added to the portfolio in 2017. The Budapest-based Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group, the subsidiary of Swiss-German owned Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, is the leading integrated multimedia corporation in Central-Eastern Europe.

Press contact:

Eszter Varga
Corporate Communications Manager
M: +36 30 606 7215
eszter.varga@ringieraxelspringer.hu

 

Noizz.hu Knows What's Cool

The representative survey conducted by the online trend magazine produced surprising results

 

Noizz.hu conducted a representative survey bearing the title “What's cool”: the online trend magazine mapped which brands, services, contents and activities the young, digitally highly literate adult generation, the so-called connected generation, finds trendy. The editorial incorporated the findings of the research conducted in 2017 in its work and in recent months tested how the preferences of its readers support the survey results in practice.

Members of the connected generation or generation C are 18-39-year-old young adults keeping the vibrant beat of the city alive, who are all for the latest trends. The conventional media is no longer their source of information - they gather information on things in life constantly in ON mode by hanging on the Internet.  During the representative research conducted in 2017, it became clear which trendy brands, media platforms and types of messages the online magazine readership is most keen on taking in.

What's trendy?

Members of the digital generation are clearly brand fans. NIKE and Adidas proved to be the most trendy brands hand in hand irrespective of industrial sector, which were closely followed by Samsung and Coca-Cola. The Noizz editorial confirms this popularity list: Samsung and Coca-Cola get a high number of clicks, while Nike went best last year from among the sports brands with its sneakers and crazy trendy shoes.

Technical gadgets are indispensable accessories for continuous online activity: life without a smartwatch, smartphone, laptop and tablet is almost unimaginable for members of generation C, who prefer the best-known brands.

Of course, not everything is about possession: they are keen on clicking on the objects of their desire, and even the premium brands with an extremely strong image, like BMW or Honda, find them.

ZARA and Puma were the trendiest fashion brands. Nivea got the most votes in the cosmetics brands category, with AVON ranking second followed by Dove and L'Oreal. According to Noizz experiences, content with a hair and nail care focus is the top performer in the beauty category.

Media consumption

The connected generation is obsessed with watching various series, not necessarily on TV. They buy virtually everything from Hungarian trash realities, to Anglo-Saxon sitcoms and classical fantasies through to investigative sagas. They like heroes, whether they be fictional or great champions of sport. As for the foreign series, the latest hit series, Game of Thrones, wins the palm among Hungarian viewers too, followed by light evening series generally running on commercial TV channels. Mainstream series, like Barátok Közt (Between Friends) or Éjjel-Nappal Budapest (Budapest Night and Day) that have been popular for years have retained their top position in the C generation.

Star news

We know that most digitally highly literate young adults live their social life on Facebook and on Messenger and consume the contents of their favourite Youtubers and Instagram stars in scoops. According to the survey, Father Tibi is the coolest Facebook cult figure in this segment.

The majority of the 18-39 age group mentioned Majka as the cool star of pop music in Hungary, with Halottpénz (Dead Money) and WellHello competing for a podium place. As regards foreign pop stars, Shakira retained the leading position she has been in for years - she boasts the most followers in the world on Facebook.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie took gold in the favourite foreign star category, while András Stohl was ranked first in the same category for Hungarian stars. It was interesting to see that respondents also made many mentions of actors and actresses starring in Hungarian success movies, like Sándor Csányi or Kata Dobó, when it came to naming trendy stars. Balázs Sebestény is unanimously the coolest figure in the Hungarian television and radio host category. Katinka Hosszú was the coolest Hungarian sports person.

As for star news consumption, according to Noizz.hu experiences readers do not stick to specific celebrities, but to stories, so it is not the names, but the hot topic and the twists in star life that bring in the clicks.

There's hope: sport is trendy too

We are talking about adults that prefer digital solutions, so the research results according to which the majority best like to spend their free time doing sports or hiking may be surprising. So it seems that sport is trendy too. Running and jogging is very trendy in the urban target group and cycling also ranks high. And it's true: news items on cycling and yoga also do very well according to Noizz content editors, meaning being fit is still cool.

About the Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group

The Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group is one of the leading media corporations in Hungary. Its portfolio includes strong brands, like market leader Blikk, Blikk.hu, popular Kiskegyed, well-known GLAMOUR and Profession.hu. Noizz.hu online trend magazine for the millennials target group was added to the portfolio in 2017. The Budapest-based Ringier Axel Springer Hungary group, the subsidiary of Swiss-German owned Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, is the leading integrated multimedia corporation in Central-Eastern Europe.

Press contact:

Eszter Varga
Corporate Communications Manager
Ringier Axel Springer Hungary Kft.
Tel.: +36 30 606 7215
eszter.varga@ringieraxelspringer.hu

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