CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Axel Springer sees earnings hit by investment, restructuring

Wed Mar 6, 2013 2:18pm IST

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(Corrects fourth paragraph to show analysts had expected 653 million, not billion, euros EBITDA)

* Sees 2013 EBITDA down single digit percentage

* posts FY EBITDA of 628 mln euros vs 619 mln expected

* Sees 2013 revenue up low-single digit percentage

* Shares indicated down 3.5 pct

By Harro Ten Wolde

FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) - German publisher Axel Springer on Wednesday forecast a drop in profitability in 2013, expecting investments in its digital business and restructuring efforts in its declining printing business to weigh on results.

The company, which publishes Germany's largest selling daily "Bild", sees net income down significantly and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropping by as much as 9 percent.

That's despite a forecast that sales will rise by as much as 5 percent.

Analysts had on average expected EBITDA up 4 percent at 653 million euros ($850.6 million) and a 4 percent rise in revenue to 3.4 billion.

Germany is home to Europe's largest print media market and in the past has proven relatively resilient to the technological, cultural and demographic forces that have squeezed newspapers in many other developed countries.

But a slowing German economy has hit advertising revenue in the print media.

Axel Springer also said 2012 EBITDA rose 5.8 percent to 628 million euros, driven by its digital media, beating the average forecast of 619 million in a Reuters poll.

Shares were indicated down 3.5 percent at 0739 GMT, according to brokerage Lang & Schwarz. ($1 = 0.7677 euros) (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by David Holmes)

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