In this Management Report, the Group is using the option to combine the Group Management Report and the Management Report of Bertelsmann. This Combined Management Report outlines the business performance, including the business result and the position of the Bertelsmann Group and Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. Information about Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB) will be detailed in a separate section. The Combined Management Report will be published instead of the Group Management Report within the Bertelsmann Annual Report.
Bertelsmann operates in the core business fields of media, services and education in around 50 countries worldwide. The geographic core markets are Western Europe – in particular, Germany, France and the United Kingdom – and the United States. In addition, Bertelsmann is strengthening its involvement in growth markets such as China, India and Brazil. The Bertelsmann divisions are RTL Group (television), Penguin Random House (books), Gruner + Jahr (magazines), BMG (music), Arvato (services), Bertelsmann Printing Group (printing), Bertelsmann Education Group (education) and Bertelsmann Investments (funds).
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is a capital-market-oriented but unlisted partnership limited by shares. As a Group holding company, it exercises central corporate functions such as the specification and development of the Group’s strategy, capital allocation, financing and management development. Internal corporate management and reporting follow the Group’s organizational structure, which consists of the operating divisions and Corporate.
RTL Group is, based on revenue, one of the leading television groups in the broadcasting, content and digital business with interests in 56 television channels and 31 radio stations and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of RTL Group includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France and the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, as well as a stake in Atresmedia in Spain. Fremantle Media is one of the largest international creators, producers and distributors of a wide range of formats outside the United States. Combining the catch-up TV services of its broadcasters, the multichannel networks BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and Divimove, and Fremantle Media’s over 280 YouTube channels, RTL Group has become the leading European media company based on online video views. Furthermore, RTL Group owns SpotX, a programmatic video advertising platform. The publicly traded RTL Group S.A. is listed on the German MDAX index.
Penguin Random House is, based on revenue, the world’s largest trade book publisher, with more than 250 imprints across six continents. Its book brands include storied imprints such as Doubleday, Viking and Alfred A. Knopf (United States); Ebury, Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape (United Kingdom); Plaza & Janés and Alfaguara (Spain); Sudamericana (Argentina); and the international imprint Dorling Kindersley. Germany’s Verlagsgruppe Random House, which includes illustrious publishing houses such as Goldmann and Heyne, is not part of Penguin Random House from a legal point of view, but is under the same corporate management and is part of the Penguin Random House division. Each year Penguin Random House publishes over 15,000 new titles and sells more than 600 million print books, e-books and audiobooks.
Gruner + Jahr is one of Europe’s leading premium magazine publishers. Its magazine portfolio includes established brands such as “Stern,” “Brigitte” and “Geo” – and young brands like “Barbara,” “Beef” and “Chefkoch.” It also has products and licenses such as the “Schöner Wohnen” furniture collection and digital offerings in all publishing segments, from News to People to Living. In digital marketing G+J operates international platforms (Ligatus, AppLike). Territory, one of the largest German communication agencies for brand content, is also part of G+J. In France, G+J operates Prisma Media, the country’s largest print and digital magazine publisher in terms of overall reach. G+J holds majority stakes in Motor Presse Stuttgart and in DDV Mediengruppe in Saxony, and holds a stake in Spiegel-Gruppe.
BMG is an international group that manages music publishing rights and recording rights. With 14 branches in 12 music markets, BMG now represents more than 2.5 million songs and recordings, including those in the catalogs of Alberts Music, Broken Bow Music Group, Bug, Cherry Lane, Chrysalis, Mute, Primary Wave, Sanctuary and Trojan, among others.
Arvato develops and implements innovative solutions for customers in a wide range of sectors in over 40 countries for all kinds of business processes. These comprise, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Financial Solutions and IT Services.
The Bertelsmann Printing Group bundles all of Bertelsmann’s offset and gravure printing activities. It comprises the German offset printers Mohn Media, GGP Media and Vogel Druck, the gravure activities of Prinovis in Germany and the United Kingdom, and the offset and digital printers Berryville Graphics, Coral Graphics and OPM in the United States. In addition, Campaign, DeutschlandCard and the Dialogue business offer various digital marketing services and specialize in data-driven multichannel marketing, campaign management and customer loyalty. The Bertelsmann Printing Group also includes RTV Media Group, the creative services provider MBS and the storage media producer Sonopress.
Bertelsmann Education Group comprises Bertelsmann’s education activities. The digital education and service offerings are primarily in the healthcare and technology sectors. The education activities include the e-learning providers Relias and Udacity.
Bertelsmann Investments bundles Bertelsmann’s global start-up investments. The activities are focused on the strategic growth markets of Brazil, China, India and the United States. Investments are made through the funds Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI), Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI).
In several European countries Bertelsmann has television and radio operations that are subject to regulation. In Germany, for example, the media is subject to oversight by the Commission on Concentration in the Media. Bertelsmann Group companies occupy leading market positions in many lines of business and may therefore have limited potential for growth through acquisition due to antitrust legislation. Moreover, some education activities are subject to regulatory provisions of government authorities and accreditation bodies.
As its profit participation certificates and bonds are publicly listed, Bertelsmann is required to comply in full with capital market regulations applicable to publicly traded companies.
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is an unlisted partnership limited by shares. Three foundations (Bertelsmann Stiftung, Reinhard Mohn Stiftung and BVG-Stiftung) indirectly hold 80.9 percent of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA shares, with the remaining 19.1 percent held indirectly by the Mohn family. Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft (BVG) controls all voting rights at the General Meeting of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA and Bertelsmann Management SE (general partner).