For the global economy in 2015, growth is expected in line with the previous year’s level. This is supported by the overall accommodative monetary policy and the sharp fall in energy prices. In the emerging countries, average growth is again expected to weaken slightly. The economic estimates by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) concerning global development are 3.4 percent for 2015, which is slightly below previous expectations.
A continuation of the economic recovery is expected in the euro zone. The IfW expects real GDP to grow by 1.5 percent in 2015. In the view of the IfW, the pace of growth in Germany will be maintained in 2015 and real GDP will increase by 1.8 percent. Real GDP in France is predicted to grow by 1.1 percent in 2015. According to the IfW estimates, the real growth rate in the UK will be 2.5 percent. For the United States, following a weak first quarter, expectations for the development of the economy have been lowered. The IfW expects real GDP in the United States to grow by 2.2 percent.
These expectations remain subject to a high level of uncertainty due to difficulties in forecasting economic developments. Certain risks remain for the global recovery. Geopolitical crises, government deficits or currency turbulence could interfere with economic development. In addition, high volatility in the financial markets is creating uncertainty. The resulting developments could adversely impact the economic situation, which is a key factor influencing Bertelsmann’s business development.
In view of the business performance in the reporting period and significantly improved exchange rates as of June 30, 2015, in particular in the US book-publishing business, the Group outlook for 2015 has been raised. For the current financial year, Bertelsmann now expects a slight increase in Group revenues and a moderate increase in operating EBITDA (forecast details from the 2014 combined management report: stable revenues/slight increase in operating EBITDA). Due to the full-year consolidation of the acquisitions, Bertelsmann assumes a further increase in invested capital for financial year 2015. Due to the growth profile of the acquired businesses, compensating effects from the earnings contributions are expected with a time delay. Against this backdrop, a strong fall in BVA is still expected.
These forecasts are based on Bertelsmann’s current business strategy, as outlined in the “Company Profile” section. In general, the forecasts reflect careful consideration of risks and opportunities and are based on operational planning and the medium-term outlook for the corporate divisions. All statements concerning potential economic and business developments represent opinions advanced on the basis of the information that is currently available. Should underlying suppositions fail to apply and/or further risks arise, actual results may differ from those expected. Accordingly, no assurances can be provided concerning the accuracy of such statements.