German media group Bertelsmann chief executive Thomas Rabe.

Frankfurt - German media and publishing giant Bertelsmann said on Wednesday it expected further growth this year after a “gratifying” business performance in 2013.

“Bertelsmann delivered a gratifying business performance in 2013,” said chief executive Thomas Rabe.

“Our figures demonstrate our company's economic capacity and solid financing. On this basis, in 2014 we will continue to work on making Bertelsmann a faster-growing, more digital, and more international company,” Rabe said.

In 2013, Bertelsmann's net profit rose by 4.4 percent to 498 million euros ($687 million).

Underlying or operating profit edged up 1.3 percent to 1.754 billion euros on a 1.8-percent rise in sales to 16.356 billion euros.

“In financial year 2013 Bertelsmann demonstrated its high profitability, and the group is in excellent financial shape,” said chief financial officer Judith Hartmann.

“All the signs point to expansion and we have the resources available for it. For 2014, Bertelsmann expects strong revenue growth, continued high profitability, and a positive development of group profit,” Hartmann said.

Looking further ahead, chief executive Rabe said he was “fairly confident” that Bertelsmann would lift overall group profits to 1.0 billion euros “in the next two years” and revenues would reach 20 billion euros by 2017. - Sapa-AFP