Bertelsmann at a Glance

Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 126,000 employees and generated revenues of €18.0 billion in the 2019 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

Key Figures (IFRS)

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in € millions20192018201720162015
Business Development  
Group revenues18,02317,67317,19016,95017,141
Operating EBITDA2,9092,5862,6362,5682,485
EBITDA margin in percent 1)16.114.615.315.214.5
Bertelsmann Value Added (BVA)2)89121163180180
Group profit1,0911,1041,1981,1371,108
Investments 3)1,2701,4341,1031,2401,259
Consolidated Balance Sheet
Equity ratio in percent38.238.838.541.641.2
Total assets27,31725,34323,71323,79422,908
Net financial debt3,3643,9323,4792,6252,765
Economic debt 4)6,5116,6196,2135,9135,609
Leverage factor2.
Dividends to Bertelsmann shareholders180180180180180
Distribution on profit participation certificates4444444444
Employee profit sharing9611610510595

Bertelsmann Divisions



RTL Group is a leader across broadcast, content and digital, with interests in 68 television channels, eight streaming platforms and 30 radio stations. RTL Group also produces content throughout the world and owns several rapidly growing digital video businesses. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, and Antena 3 in Spain. The group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group’s content business, Fremantle, is one of the world’s largest creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content. Combining the streaming services of its broadcasters (such as TV Now, 6play and Videoland) and the digital video businesses BroadbandTV, Divimove, United Screens and Fremantle’s more than 300 YouTube channels, RTL Group has become the leading European media company in online video. RTL Group also owns the ad-tech businesses Smartclip and SpotX. RTL AdConnect is RTL Group’s international sales house. Bertelsmann is the majority shareholder of RTL Group, holding more than 75 percent of its shares.


Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of fostering a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company employs more than 10,000 people globally. With about 320 independent imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print, with primarily English-, Spanish- and German-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and more than 600 million print, audio and e-books sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors. Penguin Random House is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.
Gruner + Jahr


Gruner + Jahr is one of Europe’s leading premium magazine publishers. Its products include established brands such as “Stern,” “Geo,” “Brigitte,” “Essen & Trinken” and “Schöner Wohnen” – as well as younger brands including “Chefkoch,” “Barbara,” “Beef” and “11 Freunde.” In total, Gruner + Jahr publishes around 500 print and digital media products across more than 20 countries. It also markets products and licenses such as the “Schöner Wohnen” Collection. Gruner + Jahr’s activities focus primarily on Germany and France. In the latter, its French subsidiary Prisma Media boasts one of the widest audiences of any publishing company. Digital business makes up a quarter of sales, and is exhibiting continued strong growth. Indeed, the company’s digital products lead the rankings in all publishing segments, from news to people to living. G+J also operates the international digital marketing platform AppLike and holds shares in online native advertising market leader Outbrain. Territory, Germany’s largest communications agency for brand content, is a member of the G+J family. Other members include DDV Mediengruppe in Dresden (“Sächsische Zeitung”). G+J also holds a stake in Spiegel-Gruppe (“Spiegel,” “Manager Magazin”). Gruner + Jahr is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.


Founded in 2008, BMG is the world’s fourth-biggest music publisher and the first new global player in the recordings business in decades. Creating competitive advantage with its core values of fairness, transparency and service, BMG offers the traditionally separate music publishing and recording rights under one roof, as well as production music, films and books. BMG’s 19 offices across 12 core music markets represent more than three million songs and recordings, including many of the most renowned and successful catalogs, artists and songwriters in popular music history. With its multiplatform perspective, integrated technology platform and commitment to add value to their careers, BMG aims to be the best partner for artists and songwriters. BMG is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.


Arvato is an internationally active services company that develops and implements innovative solutions for business customers from around the world. These include SCM solutions, financial services and IT services, which are continuously developed with a focus on innovations in automation and data/analytics. Globally renowned companies from a wide variety of industries – from telecommunications providers and energy providers to banks and insurance companies, e-commerce, IT and Internet providers – rely on Arvato’s portfolio of solutions. Arvato is wholly owned by Bertelsmann. The services business also includes the Majorel group of companies, in which Bertelsmann owns 50 percent of shares.


The Bertelsmann Printing Group unites Bertelsmann’s printing activities. This includes the German offset printing companies Mohn Media, GGP Media and Vogel Druck, the Prinovis gravure printing operations in Germany and the United Kingdom, and the offset and digital printing plants Berryville Graphics, Coral Graphics and OPM in the United States. The group combines a wide range of print and service offerings. Campaign, DeutschlandCard and the Dialogue business are also part of Bertelsmann Printing Group. The Bertelsmann division also includes the advertising agency MBS, RTV Media Group and Sonopress. Bertelsmann Printing Group is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.


The Bertelsmann Education Group comprises Bertelsmann’s educational activities. With digital education and service offerings focused in the health, technology and teacher education sectors, the group has set out to shape learning in the 21st century. To achieve this, the group seeks long-term partnerships with talented education entrepreneurs who share the same vision, mindset and values. Bertelsmann Education Group provides capital investment and industry and leadership expertise, as well as a broad network of international relationships, to help create outstanding companies of enduring value in education. The Bertelsmann Education Group is wholly owned by Bertelsmann.


Bertelsmann Investments (BI), Bertelsmann’s global venture capital arm, encompasses four funds: Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI, investing in the United States and Europe); as well as fund-of-fund investments in Southeast Asia and Africa, and funds with a focus on new technologies. So far, more than €1 billion has been invested in more than 250 innovative companies and funds through the Bertelsmann Investments division. The Bertelsmann Investments Digital Partners initiative facilitates collaboration between start-ups and all Bertelsmann divisions to drive the digitalization of the businesses.