Axel Springer boosts H1 net to $792 mil

Growth partly fueled by advertising uptick

MUNICH -- Hamburg-based media giant Axel Springer Group increased its pretax earnings to 213.9 million euros ($318.2 million) in the first half, the company reported Wednesday, up 7.2% from the same period in '07.

Much of that growth was fed by a jump in second-quarter ad revenue, particularly in foreign markets, which accounted for 22.3% of the company's income.

Net income for the reporting period exploded to 526.2 million euros ($792.4 million), up from 88.8 million euros ($132 million) in the first two quarters of last year. Much of that increase was due to proceeds from the first-quarter sale of Axel Springer's stake in German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG to KKR/Permira.

Absent funds from the sale, Axel Springer's net income was still up more than 10 million euros to 98.9 million euros ($147.1 million).