Annual Report

Assets and financial position 

The balance sheet total increased by 3.5 million euros to 57.2 million euros (previous year 53.7 million euros). 

On the assets side, scheduled depreciation and amortization reduced intangible assets and property, plant and equipment by 0.7 million euros to 15.2 million euros – this includes the first-time capitalization of the brand value from the asset deal with TeleNewsNetwork GmbH (TNN) worth 0.4 million euros. Financial assets changed by 3.0 million euros compared with the previous year, and fell from 12.2 million euros to 9.2 million euros. Lower investment values resulted from a write-down of shares in Contiago GmbH (–0.1 million euros) and shares of nma 2 Beteiligungsgesellschaft (–0.2 million euros), as well as from the sale of shares in news aktuell (Schweiz) AG to news aktuell GmbH (–2.7 million euros).

Current assets increased on balance by 7.0 million euros, mainly due to the increase in security positions held (+11.3 million euros). By contrast, receivables and other assets decreased by 3.2 million euros, with a simultaneous fall of 1.2 million Euros in credit balances with financial institutions.

On the liabilities side, the increase in shareholders’ equity and higher liabilities had a particularly positive impact on the balance sheet total. Shareholders equity rose to 41.7 million euros. This is almost entirely attributable to the net profit for the year of 1.6 million euros. The equity ratio was 73.0% on the balance sheet (previous year: 74.7%).

Provisions increased by around 1.3 million euros year-on-year, mainly due to an increase for the ongoing reorganization of editorial structures, the higher valuation of litigation risks and an increased volume of outstanding invoices. Higher liabilities of 5.4 million euros (previous year: 5.0 million euros) resulted mainly from an increase in liabilities to affiliated companies of 0.3 million euros and higher trade liabilities of 0.7 million euros. On the other hand, trade account payables fell by 0.6 million euros.

With cash and cash equivalents (including short-term realizable securities) amounting to 23.2 million euros (previous year: 13.0 million euros), the company retains a solid financial basis. Long-term fixed assets continue to be fully covered by equity. 

Cash flow from operating activities (including income from profit transfers and investments) amounted to 9.2 million euros for the fiscal year (previous year: 4.1 million euros).

The investment sum (excluding financial assets) was lower than the year before at 2.2 million euros (previous year: 2.6 million euros). The focus of investment activity in the past fiscal year was once again on the further development of individual modules of our editorial and ERP systems, the expansion of the image portal, and replacement of operating and office equipment.

4. Financial and non-financial performance indicators

In accordance with our corporate strategy, the internal control system was aligned and suitable control indicators were defined. Here, dpa differentiates between financial and non-financial performance indicators. The financial performance indicators include the sustained increase in profitability and the allied increase in the value of the company. In terms of earning power, sales and profit are the most important target and control indicators.

In the case of non-financial performance indicators, data such as the development of text volume are important control features. In addition, the changes desired by the market towards longer texts as well as time-consuming texts with a pronounced explanatory element must be taken into account. 

The growth in the volume of reports in 2020 reflects the impact of the corona pandemic. The number of texts went up to 195,000 over the previous year (190,000). In addition, there was a broader demand for spot news stories related to corona topics. The trend in the photo sector was similar: The number of dpa photo features rose from around 337,700 to some 342,000.

The number of long texts (80 agency lines or more) rose to just under 2,500 (previous year: 2,200). This can also be seen as a corona effect driven by the demand for more explanatory reporting. As in the previous year, print usage (20, 30 or more impressions) for texts with explanation and contextual classification was 2,800 articles. Digital usage is still difficult to measure, but the trend corresponds with print usage.