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 forward, developing growth platforms, and expanding into growth regions.
In the first half of 2015 and the following two months, Bertelsmann continued to restructure the Group and was successful in all strategic directions. The core businesses were strengthened by the progress in the implementation of the Group-wide profitability improvement program, and the scale-back of structurally declining businesses continued. Following the sale of the Italian and South American printing businesses in 2014, Be Printers also sold its Spanish printing businesses, and the club and direct-marketing businesses were scaled back further or closed. The digital transformation was continued in the core businesses and through acquisitions. In addition to increased video views and a growing e-book offering, these included acquisitions such as the French online company Oxygem, by the RTL Group subsidiary Groupe M6. The growth platforms were expanded further and included Arvato acquiring a holding in the Brazilian financial-services provider Intervalor. In addition, Bertelsmann expanded its involvement in the education business with the US academic institution Alliant International University and increased its holding in the US education provider Synergis Education. BMG strengthened its music business with acquisitions including the US rock music label Rise Records. The company’s presence in the growth regions was also expanded. The BDMI and BAI funds acquired several new investments in the education and services businesses. In Brazil, Bertelsmann and Bozano Investimentos jointly set up a new fund. Bertelsmann also invested in the Brazilian market leader in further education, Affero Lab. In China, BMG concluded a comprehensive distribution contract with the e-commerce company Alibaba and in India, the shareholding in Pepperfry, the leading online marketplace for furniture, was increased.