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Axel Springer FY17 Profit Down, Lifts Dividend; Sees Higher FY18 Results

German media holding company Axel Springer SE (AXELF.PK) reported Thursday that its fiscal 2017 consolidated profit was 378.0 million euros, compared to last year's 450 million euros that was benefited by one-off effects in connection with the integration of the activities in Switzerland into a joint venture with Ringier, the sale of CarWale, and of the building in Hamburg.

The earnings per share in 2017 amounted to 3.19 euros, down from 3.94 euros a year ago.

Adjusted net income was 327.5 million euros, compared to 299.9 million euros last year. Adjusted earnings per share were 2.60 euros, compared to 2.41 euros a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA rose 8.5 percent from last year to 645.8 million euros. The adjusted EBITDA margin at 18.1 percent was at the same high level as in the previous year.

Axel Springer's consolidated revenues grew 8.3 percent to 3.56 billion euros from 3.29 billion euros a year ago. Adjusted for consolidation and currency effects, revenues increased 6.3 percent.

Further, for the financial year 2017, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting to raise the dividend to 2 euros per share from last year's 1.90 euros per share.

Looking ahead, for the financial year 2018, the company anticipates an increase in revenues in the low to mid single-digit percentage range. Organically, revenues will also grow in the low to mid single-digit percentage range.

The adjusted EBITDA will prospectively rise in the low double-digit percentage range. For the adjusted earnings per share, Axel Springer expects an increase in the low to mid single-digit percentage range. Organically, adjusted EBITDA as well as adjusted earnings per share will prospectively increase in the mid to high single-digit percentage range expected.

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