Frequently asked questions and answers
Below you will find the most frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers with regard to the financial strategy.
Does Bertelsmann provide relevant financial information on a regular basis?
Bertelsmann regularly provides relevant information about the company to its stakeholders. For more than 30 years, the company has published an annual report with information about the course of the business and the state of the company's net assets, financial position and results from operations of the group. The publication of the annual report is regularly accompanied by an Annual Press Conference where the Bertelsmann Executive Board answers journalists' questions. With the beginning of the short fiscal year 2001, the accounting method for the preparation of the consolidated financial statement was switched from German HGB accounting to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Since 2003, in addition to the annual report, Bertelsmann has published a half-year report that complies with the IFRS and is supplemented through conference calls with investors and analysts. Furthermore, at the end of each quarter Bertelsmann publishes press releases containing information about the course of business and the development of key group financials .
What are Bertelsmann's financial targets?
Bertelsmann utilizes a financial control system employing quantitative financial targets concerning the Group’s economic debt and, to a lesser extent, its capital structure. One financial target is a dynamic leverage factor calculated as the ratio of economic debt to operating EBITDA and limited to the defined maximum of 2.5. Economic debt is defined as net financial debt plus provisions for pensions, profit participation capital, and the net present value of operating leases. Like operating EBITDA, economic debt is modified for calculation purposes. These self-imposed financial goals reflect the conservative financial policy of the company and also take into account the existence of other financial obligations such as obligations from operating leasing contracts.
As of December 31, 2014, the Group had a leverage factor of 2.7 (December 31, 2013: 2.0).
What is the credit rating of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA?
Bertelsmann has been rated by the Standard & Poor's and Moody's rating agencies since June 2002. S&P's current rating for Bertelsmann is BBB+/stable/A-2, Moody's rating is Baa1/stable/P-2.