German media group Axel Springer has reported a 23% decline in net earnings, which dropped to €78 million ($87 million U.S.) during the second quarter, due to weaker economic conditions.

The company reported a slight increase in sales for its classified media segment, which includes recruitment company StepStone. Second-quarter revenue for the segment rose by 1.3% to €299 million ($334 million U.S.), making it one of Springer’s strongest divisions.

Group revenue for the quarter fell by 4% to €759 million ($849 million U.S.). Adjusted EBITDA also declined by 3% to €178 million ($199 million U.S.).

The Berlin-based publisher remains focused on growth despite challenging market conditions. Springer management expects its alliance with U.S. equity fund KKR will help the company make more acquisitions and pursue further growth opportunities.

“We are focused on long-term growth,” CEO Mathias Döpfner said. “Therefore, even in a challenging economic environment, we invest in employees, brands, products and technology wherever we see the potential for growth. The planned strategic partnership with KKR will give us additional freedom in this respect.”

Last week, Springer announced that its buyout offer by KKR had been accepted by 27.8% of minority shareholders. This was well above the minimum threshold of 20% set by the U.S. investor. The offer values Springer at €6.8 billion ($7.6 billion U.S.). The company is expected to go private.

The German publisher is active in more than 40 countries, operating dozens of classified sites and brands, including StepStone, TotalJobs, SeLoger, LaCentrale, and Yad2, among others.

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