The German media group Axel Springer said revenues from its classified advertising businesses and growing digital publishing divisions helped lift operating profits by almost 17 per cent in the first three months of 2017.

The publisher of Bild, Germany’s biggest selling newspaper, said it increased revenues in the first quarter by 6.7 percent compared to the first quarter last year, to €836m.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, adjusted for non recurring effects, rose by 16.9 percent to €147m, which the company said was mainly attributable to the positive development of classified ad and paid models, whose ebitda increased by 21.5 percent and 19.8 percent respectively.

Unlike other European publishers, which have seen classified ad revenues shift to online rivals like Google, Axel has retained a strong presence in the classified market in Germany.

Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive, said “The substantial growth investments of the past few years have contributed to the good start to 2017.”

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