Hubert Burda Media is looking back on a satisfactory financial year despite Russia’s war of aggression in Europe, skyrocketing energy and production costs, and high inflation: In 2022, the Burda Group generated over €2.9 billion in revenue from roughly 500 products in Germany and 18 other countries. The Group employed more than 10,500 people at the end of 2022.
At the beginning of the fiscal year, Hubert Burda Media was divided into three operational divisions for the first time: Consumer Media, B2B Media and Services, and Commerce. The separation into four operational divisions still in use in the previous year was adjusted in this way to align more closely with business models. Burda’s goal in all profit centers is to deliver products and services to the market that add the greatest possible value for people.
B2B revenue grew in the New Work group – thanks to its strategic realignment to the growth segment of B2B e-recruiting. Sales revenue in the print business also increased over the previous year. Burda continued its successful transformation of consumer-oriented business activities. The expansion of digital business models, above all at BurdaInternational in Poland and BurdaForward, led to higher revenue in online advertising and e-commerce activities. Burda’s international investment arm, which provides long-term growth capital for fast-growing technology and media companies, also expanded its portfolio to include 27 participating interests.
Despite the growing challenges, the Executive Board of Hubert Burda Media is optimistic about the current financial year.
The Group’s media and publishing businesses are bundled in the Consumer Media division. Burda’s German and international publishing segments operate a variety of business models that deliver long-term profitability and generated €1.1 billion in sales revenue last year together with digital publisher BurdaFoward and Nebenan.de.
Burda published 439 magazine titles worldwide in 2022. In Germany alone, the segment’s media brands are an integral part of the lives of 38.75 million readers every year. In order to further grow its core journalistic business, in early 2021 Burda bundled all of its publishing activities and related profit centers in Germany into the BurdaVerlag integrated publishing unit. Structural changes were also implemented at the management level at the end of 2022 to accelerate the digital transformation and invest in adjacent digital business models. BurdaVerlag expanded its engagement in the health sector growth market, opening up the digital patient journey segment and acquiring a 35 percent participating interest in IhreApotheken.de, an online pharmacy platform. The Publishing Kids unit includes children’s magazine publisher Blue Ocean Entertainment in Stuttgart and is the undisputed market leader for children’s magazines in the German-speaking world. Its market share grew again last year and now represents around 52 percent of sales revenue in this magazine segment.
BurdaInternational’s publishing activities are concentrated mostly in Great Britain, continental Europe, and Asia. This unit expanded and diversified its customer-oriented business models primarily in the food segment in 2022. Burda took over a leading British nutrition platform, Nutracheck, and integrated it into Immediate Media, Burda’s media company in Great Britain. The synergy with its established cross-platform food brands in the digital and print segment should deliver a growth advantage. The integration of business activities in the Polish market that started back in 2021 with beauty shopping platform Cocolita.pl and media company Edipresse Polska was successfully concluded. Burda Luxury, a unit active in Asian countries, was able to markedly increase sales revenue in the print and digital segments in 2022.
BurdaForward’s portfolio includes brands with a wide reach, such as Focus Online, Chip, TV Spielfilm.de, Bunte.de, Finanzen100, Fit For Fun, NetMoms, The Weather Channel and Efahrer.com. With these offerings, Burda reaches around 39 million unique users per month, and thus around 64 percent of internet users in Germany. BurdaForward made steady progress with its fundamental transformation to a digital publishing platform started in 2021 and strengthened its business model based on reach marketing.
Nebenan.de, a majority shareholding of Hubert Burda Media since 2020 and Germany’s largest neighborhood network with more than 2.5 million addressed-verified users, saw continued strong user growth in 2022. In addition, there was a special focus both on the social impact and on promoting neighborliness.
The B2B Media and Services division bundles all of the professional services that Burda provides for enterprise customers. These include the majority shareholding in New Work SE, which operates Germany’s leading professional online network Xing, BurdaDruck, and the C3 agency group. Sales revenue in this division rose by 8.3 percent in 2022 to €536.5 million.
Positive developments in the job market and the shortage of skilled professionals resulted in solid growth for New Work SE in fiscal 2022, which increased sales and profit with Xing, Kununu – the leading employer rating portal in German-speaking countries – and the B2B recruiting brand Onlyfy by Xing. The B2B e-recruiting segment is the strongest growth driver. More than 21 million members in the Germany-Austria-Switzerland region used Xing, the professional network, in 2022.
The BurdaDruck Group specializes in the production of high-quality magazines, catalogs, and advertising material in high-volume gravure printing, and in all services necessary for that area. With locations in Offenburg, Nuremberg, and Vieux-Thann (France), it is one of Europe’s largest printing companies. Revenue in this segment grew significantly over the previous year due in particular to higher revenue from paper sales. However, prices for energy and raw materials rose significantly.
Back in 2021, Burda increased its shareholding in the C3 content marketing agency to 100 percent. C3 utilizes a client-pod agency model, precisely configuring its agile interdisciplinary project teams to meet clients’ needs. This model is continuously being refined and proved itself successful in 2022, due in particular to the option for virtual customer consulting and project work. C3 brings together more than 30 specialized disciplines under one roof, uniting strategy and design for content creation to technology and platform expertise, from marketing intelligence to paid (digital) media, performance marketing, and SEO.
The Commerce division comprises the Group’s key internet-based activities in the areas of e-commerce and travel. Additionally, the investment business in consumer-oriented digital companies is bundled in this division. In 2022, the Commerce division generated a total of €1.2 billion in sales revenue.
BurdaCommerce includes electronic e-commerce shareholdings in Cyberport GmbH, computeruniverse GmbH, and CyberSolutions GmbH, as well as Silkes Weinkeller, an online wine retailer. Cyberport was one of Germany’s largest e-commerce companies in 2022 and currently has 13 stores in Germany and Austria. Through the acquisition of two IT services companies at the end of 2021 and their subsequent merger, Cyberport has expanded its business model to offer its many customers not only hardware and software, but also corresponding IT services as well.
The HolidayCheck Group achieved a clear increase in turnover due to significantly higher travel activities after the Covid-19 pandemic. The digital travel platform diversified its business models and expanded both its B2B and B2C business, for instance by selling advertising space to travel providers and establishing a club business.
As in the previous year, the largest investments by the division were made through BurdaPrincipal Investments (BPI), which acquired a number of new minority interests. BPI participated in a round of financing for Nord Security, an online data protection and security solutions provider, bringing another "unicorn" into the portfolio in 2022. Through its investment in the German startup Arive, BPI has expanded its portfolio with another express delivery service. Another new addition to the portfolio is Patronus, a German startup which develops digital tools for improving the care and well-being of senior citizens.
Burda will continue to create synergies between its individual companies in 2023, particularly in the areas of data, technology, marketing, content creation, and monetization. Hubert Burda Media wants to increase and focus its business activities in certain areas such as video and deploy shared strategies and technologies to make the best possible use of its opportunities for growth.
Burda sees especially good opportunities for growth in the digital and event portfolio worldwide. In the Polish market, this should create new cross-media consumer offerings, especially in the areas of lifestyle and beauty. Immediate Media, Burda’s company in Great Britain, expanded its food platform with a valuable building block through the acquisition of Nutracheck, a leading nutrition platform.
Further expansion of the business model of Germany’s largest neighborhood network, Nebenan.de, is also yielding promising opportunities. Marketing of hyperlocal advertising opportunities for retailers, service providers and companies ("geomarketing") already started in fiscal year 2022. After the Covid-19 pandemic, the HolidayCheck Group underwent restructuring, cut costs, and established several new business models within its platform.
Hubert Burda Media continues to work consistently on its digital transformation and on building and expanding new business models. The Group anticipates largely stable sales revenues for 2023.
|ACTUAL (in %)
|B2B Media and Services