Participation in the Company's Success - Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

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Profit Participation

Participation in the Company's Success

The fair distribution of our company's profits is an integral part of our corporate culture. Profit participation was introduced at Bertelsmann in 1970, to reward employees for their contribution to the company's success.

In Germany, Bertelsmann was a pioneer in employee profit participation. When Reinhard Mohn introduced the concept at Bertelsmann, his intention was to strengthen employee motivation and identification with his idea of "participation and partaking." A profit participation payment consists of a company component as well as a share of the Group's global net income.

At the suggestion of the employee representatives, the existing concept was revised in 2008 and made more transparent. Since then employee profit participation has been based on the Bertelsmann Value Added (BVA), the same performance index that determines the performance-based remuneration of management. In other words, management bonuses and profit-participation payments develop comparably. When Executive Board members and other executives are paid high bonuses in a good year, the employees also receive high profit-participation payments – and conversely, in a weaker year everyone receives a lower payment.

The profit participation scheme includes all the German operations of the Group's fully consolidated companies. RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr, Prinovis as well as companies with external shareholders maintain individual profit-participation models. Outside Germany, many locations and companies have similar success- and profit-participations models adapted to local requirements.

Latest Figures

In June 2015, approximately €23 million from the 2014 profits was distributed among close to 20,000 employees at Bertelsmann's German companies. RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr, Prinovis and other companies with multiple shareholders have their own profit-participation models and payout conditions. Companies outside of Germany have their own schemes for including employees in their success. In all, the Bertelsmann Group paid out €85 million in profit participation in 2015 worldwide.