Annual Report 2018

Assets and financial position

The balance sheet total increased by 1.8 million euros to 52.3 million euros (previous year: 50.5 million euros).

On the assets side, intangible assets and property, plant and equipment fell by 0.4 million euros to 16.0 million euros (previous year: 16.4 million euros) as a result of scheduled depreciation. Financial assets changed by 0.2 million euros compared with the previous year and rose to 12.9 million euros (previous year: 12.7 million euros). An increase in the investment values resulted from the acquisition of shares in Contiago GmbH and news aktuell Schweiz AG; the timely repayment of a loan by news aktuell GmbH reduced these assets by approximately the same amount. 

Current assets increased on balance by 2.0 million euros, due to the increase in receivables and other assets by 1.4 million euros and the increase in the securities position by 5.5 million euros with a simultaneous reduction of 4.9 million euros in credit balances with financial institutions. 

On the liabilities side, the increase in equity and an increase in provisions had a positive effect on the balance sheet total. Shareholders' equity rose to 39 million euros. This is almost entirely attributable to the net profit for the year of 1.5 million euros. As in the previous year, the equity ratio was 74.5% as of the balance sheet date. 

With cash and cash equivalents (including short-term realizable securities) amounting to 11.4 million euros (previous year: 10.9 million euros), the company still has a solid financial basis. Long-term fixed assets continue to be fully covered by equity. 

Cash flow from current activities (including income from profit transfers and holdings) amounted to 3.6 million euros for the 2018 fiscal year (previous year: 3.9 million euros). 

The investment sum (excluding financial assets) increased by 0.3 million euros to 2.6 million euros (previous year: 2.3 million euros). The main focus of investment activity in the past financial year was again on the further development of individual modules of our editorial and ERP systems, the expansion of the image portal and the replacement of operating and office equipment. 

4. Financial and non-financial performance indicators   

Alongside 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 associated 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 report volumes are important control features. In addition, the changes desired by the market towards longer reports as well as reports with a significant amount of explanation must be taken into account. In line with these customer wishes, dpa launched a modified basic service in 2017: more long texts and more texts with explanations and classifications. 

As a result, the volume of reports fell to 192,000 in 2018 (previous year: 208,000). The number of long texts (from 80 agency lines) doubled in 2018 to almost 2,100. In addition, there was a broader customer use (20, 30 or more prints) of texts with explanations and classifications: in 2018, the number rose to more than 2,700 reports, an increase of almost 50% compared to the same period of the previous year. Digital usage is still difficult to measure, but the trend corresponds to print usage.