Bertelsmann’s primary objective is continuous growth of the company’s value through a sustained increase in profitability (see the “Value-Oriented Management System” section). Bertelsmann aims to achieve a faster-growing, more digital and more international Group portfolio. The Group strategy comprises four strategic priorities: strengthening the core businesses, driving the digital transformation, developing growth platforms, and expanding into growth regions.
Since January 1, 2016, the strategic transformation of Bertelsmann has been reflected even more strongly in the company structure. At the beginning of the current financial year, three additional independent divisions were formed from the former operating activities of Corporate Investments. These are BMG, Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments. In addition, the Group’s offset and gravure printing activities and some other production-related businesses were combined into the Bertelsmann Printing Group division as of January 1, 2016. The new Bertelsmann, consisting of eight divisions, is now based on three pillars: media, services and education.
In the first half of 2016, further progress was made in the four strategic priorities of the Group and in all the Group divisions. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland further expanded its families of channels and, with the acquisition of Smartclip, it extended its digital advertising marketing. Penguin Random House recorded a strong bestseller performance. Gruner + Jahr increased its stake in the marketing services provider Trnd and also established Territory, Germany’s largest provider in the content communication market. The French G+J subsidiary Prisma Media acquired Group Cerise, one of the leading digital video providers in France. BMG acquired a majority stake in the ARC music catalog and signed amongst others a new contract with Pink Floyd founder and songwriter Roger Waters. The development of a new logistics center in the northern Ruhr area will enable Arvato to further expand its e-commerce services. The printing businesses were bundled into the newly-formed Bertelsmann Printing Group. Bertelsmann Education Group continued to expand its educational activities in the e-learning and online services sector; and with its online education provider Relias Learning, it entered the European market. The strategic investment platforms bundled in the Bertelsmann Investments division also expanded their activities. Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI) made acquisitions which included a stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Xian Life; Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) invested in the fashion network Roposo, the fintech company Lendingkart and the e-commerce service provider KartRocket.