The year 2018 was marked by extensive changes in the company's organization and processes, which were extensively controlled both under individual and collective law by the human resources and legal departments. Agile procedures were increasingly used in cooperation with the works constitution bodies. This approach will be pursued even more intensively in the future in order to be able to take full account of the components under works constitution law in the increasingly agile project work.
The reorganization of the Spanish-language service had an impact on the end of the year. The goal of implementing a comparable procedure as far as possible, taking into account the very different local legal conditions, required a relatively high level of effort. By the end of the year, however, it had already been possible in many cases to find acceptable solutions for the parties involved. The personnel components of this project were implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
Nevertheless, the annual average number of employees increased slightly to 679 (previous year: 677). The proportion of female employees in the company is just over 48% and thus within reach of the 50% mark. The number of part-time employees rose by five to 144.
Depreciation and amortization was 2.9 million euros and thus remained constant compared with the previous year's level.
Other operating costs rose by 1.5 million euros to 20.4 million euros. Expenses for the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup also played a significant role here, as did one-off expenses for the Spanish service and increased technical consulting costs to accelerate major innovation projects. On the other hand, losses from currency fluctuations declined significantly, as expected, following a one-off effect in the previous year.
The financial result amounted to 14.7 million euros after 12.2 million euros in the previous year and thus rose by around 20%. Earnings from profit transfers from subsidiaries and income from investments both increased significantly. On the other hand, due to the reduced future earnings prospects of a smaller holding, write-downs of just under 0.2 million euros on the value of assets and loans were necessary.
This resulted in earnings before taxes of approximately 1.5 million euros. Net income after taxes also amounted to 1.5 million euros and was thus above the planned budget and 0.3 million euros above the previous year's result.
The management and supervisory board propose to the shareholders' meeting to balance the net income for the year of 1,491,137.18 euros for the year with the loss carried forward of 92,406.10 euros as of 01.01.2018 to the balance sheet profit of 1,398,731.08 euros and carry it forward to the new period.
In addition to its core business, dpa operates a large number of business areas and new business fields in independent, wholly-owned subsidiaries. Due to the chosen structure, dpa’s earnings are highly dependent on the economic development and the associated contributions of the affiliated subsidiaries and other holdings, which are generally subject to profit and loss transfer agreements. In 2018, they once again generated high net incomes for the year and made a total contribution to earnings of 15.0 million euros, a new all-time high, which however also included one-off special dividends from the companies in Switzerland and Spain.
Within the framework of the existing profit and loss transfer agreement, news aktuell GmbH made the largest contribution to the success of the dpa group, 6.7 million euros. The increase in the annual result was greatly influenced by the growth of the latest business line Zimpel Mediadaten, but also by a special distribution of news aktuell (Switzerland).