In this Management Report, the Group is using the option to combine the Group Management Report and the Management Report of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. 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 60 television channels, 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 investments in Atresmedia in Spain and RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network in Southeast Asia. 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 260 YouTube channels, RTL Group has become the leading European media company based on online video views. Furthermore, RTL Group owns a majority stake in 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 five 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) and Sudamericana (Argentina), as well as the international imprint Dorling Kindersley. Each year Penguin Random House publishes over 15,000 new titles and sells nearly 800 million print books, e-books and audio books. 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.
Gruner + Jahr is represented in over 20 countries with more than 500 magazines and digital businesses. G+J Germany publishes well-known magazines such as “Stern,” “Brigitte” and “Geo.” The digital business consists of publishing offerings, communities, commerce transactions such as the “Schöner Wohnen” shop and the Ligatus Ad-Tech business. Gruner + Jahr owns 59.9 percent of Motor Presse Stuttgart. In France, G+J operates Prisma Media, the country’s largest print and digital magazine publisher in terms of overall reach.
BMG is an international group that manages music publishing rights and recording rights. With 14 branches in 12 major music markets, BMG now represents more than 2.5 million songs and recordings, including those in the catalogs of Chrysalis, Bug, Cherry Lane, Sanctuary, Primary Wave and Alberts Music.
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 Customer Relationship Management (CRM), 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. The group offers a wide range of print and other services. 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 Learning and Udacity and the investments in the online education platform HotChalk and in Alliant International University.
Bertelsmann Investments bundles Bertelsmann’s global start-up investments. The activities are focused on the strategic growth markets of Brazil, China and India and on the United States and Europe. Investments are made through the funds Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI), Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI).
Bertelsmann has television and radio operations in several European countries that are subject to regulation. In Germany, for example, media are 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.
Because 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).