Making Responsibility Measurable

Based on the guidelines issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), we record relevant key CR-related indicators that provide a quick look at our performance and the progress we've made. These facilitate analysis and comparisons, but most importantly track the steady improvement of corporate responsibility at Bertelsmann.

  • Business
  • Employees
  • Environment

Key Financials of the Bertelsmann Group

as of December 31, 2018

Key Figures (IFRS)          
in € millions 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Business Development          
Group revenues 17,673 17,190 16,950 17,141 16,675
Operating EBITDA 2,586 2,636 2,568 2,485 2,374
EBITDA margin in percent1) 14.6 15.3 15.2 14.5 14.2
Bertelsmann Value Added (BVA)2) 121 163 180 180 211
Group profit 1,104 1,198 1,137 1,108 572
Investments3) 1,434 1,103 1,240 1,259 1,578
           
Consolidated Balance Sheet          
Equity 9,838 9,127 9,895 9,434 8,380
Equity ratio in percent 38.8 38.5 41.6 41.2 38.9
Total assets 25,343 23,713 23,794 22,908 21,560
Net financial debt 3,932 3,479 2,625 2,765 1,689
Economic debt4) 6,619 6,213 5,913 5,609 6,039
Leverage factor 2.7 2.5 2.5 2.4 2.7
           
Dividends to Bertelsmann shareholders 180 180 180 180 180
Distribution on profit participation certificates 44 44 44 44 44
Employee profit sharing 116 105 105 95 85

As of January 1, 2018, the new accounting standards IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers were applied for the first time. In accordance with the transitional provisions of IFRS 9 and IFRS 15, prior year comparatives have not been adjusted. Further details are presented in the section “Impact of New Financial Reporting Standards.”
The figures shown in the table are, in some cases, so-called Alternative Performance Measures (APM), which are neither defined nor described in IFRS. Details are presented in the section “Alternative Performance Measures” in the Combined Management Report.
Rounding may result in minor variations in the calculation of percentages.

1) Operating EBITDA as a percentage of revenues.
2) Bertelsmann uses BVA as a strictly defined key performance indicator to evaluate the profitability of the operating business and return on investment. From financial year 2018 onward, Bertelsmann Value Added is determined without taking into account the Bertelsmann Investments division.
3) Taking into account the financial debt assumed, investments amounted to €1,461 million (2017: €1,117 million).
4) Net financial debt less 50 percent of the par value of the hybrid bonds plus pension provisions, profit participation capital and the present value of operating leases.

Employee Figures of the Bertelsmann Group

as of December 31, 2018

Personnel costs
in € millions 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Wages and salaries 4,464 4,368 4,230 4,268 4,054
Statutory social security contributions 719 714 689 694 661
Expenses for pensions and similar obligations 141 138 149 160 119
Profit sharing 116 105 105 95 85
Other employee benefits 218 216 202 213 180
  5,658 5,541 5,375 5,430 5,099

Accident statistics

Germany

  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Number of workplace and en route accidents 856 831 792 829 749
Accidents per 1,000 employees 19.4 19.1 18.2 17.8 18.3
Days incapacitated 11,937 13,988 14,930 16,362 11,022
Employees 44,099 43,405 43,477 46,500 40,851

Basis: employees on permanent and temporary contracts, excluding trainees, as of December 31.

Paid and unpaid leave

Germany

  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Ø No. of vacation days per employee 25.7 25.9 26.6 26 26.8
Ø No. of days of paid sick leave 12.9 12.3 12.6 12.4 11.0
Ø No. of days of maternity leave 0.4 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.1
Ø No. of days of other paid leave 2.8 2.2 2.5 3.2 3.4
Paid leave 41.8 41.4 42.7 42.5 42.3
           
Ø No. of unpaid sick days 4.9 4.4 4.5 4.3 3.9
Ø No. of days of other types of unpaid leave of absence 1.5 0.6 0.5 0.7 0.8
Unpaid leave 6.4 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.7
           
Total sick leave1) in % 7.1 6.7 6.8 6.6 6.0

1) Sick leave as defined by Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA:
Sick leave quote = average number of sick days / target working days
Target workdays = calendar days - Saturdays/Sundays - public holidays (x = 365 - 105 - 10 = 250)

Number of trainees
  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Commercial sector 548 574 638 620 631 579
Industrial sector 338 305 308 291 285 307
Dual study 236 219 204 196 191 186
Volunteers / Student journalists 154 158 146 158 205 232
Total 1,276 1,256 1,296 1,265 1,312 1,304

Basis: trainees in Germany as of December 31.

Environmental Figures of the Bertelsman Group

The environmental figures for the 2018 reporting year were published as part of the Bertelsmann GRI reporting  .