November 8, 2017 / 11:09 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Some job cuts the price of Axel Springer restructuring

* Job cuts not targeted in restructuring of German media ops

* No date yet for IPO of affiliate marketing arm Awin

* Springer announces 7 pct rise in core earnings

* Confirms 2017 guidance for high-single-digit profit gain (Adds CEO, CFO comments on restructuring, Awin IPO)

FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Axel Springer, publisher of the best-selling tabloid Bild, said it would eliminate some jobs as it restructures its German business into digital and print divisions but declined to say how many.

The publisher is reorganising its media operations to focus on growth in digital and maximise profits in print, which despite declining circulation posted a rare gain in advertising revenues in the third quarter.

Announcing a 7 percent increase in quarterly core earnings and confirming guidance for 2017, CEO Mathias Doepfner played down concerns the shakeup would lead to significant job losses.

“Cost effects - and with that I mean restructuring and reducing staff - are absolutely not the priorities of this exercise,” Doepfner told reporters on a conference call. Neither division is being prepared for sale, he added.

Management is, however, considering an initial public offering of shares in affiliate marketing arm Awin, which completed a merger with United Internet’s affilinet business last month. No date has yet been set, CFO Julian Deutz said.

“We are concentrating on integration and when it is completed, then we will see,” he said.

Springer’s third-quarter group revenues were 860 million euros ($996 million), up 7.3 percent from a year earlier and above average expectations of 843 million euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 156 million euros. Analysts had on average forecast 155 million euros.

Springer expects core earnings and adjusted earnings per share to show high single-digit growth this year. It hiked the forecasts after its mid-year results.

The company’s shares traded down 0.3 percent after a weak opening, and are up 31 percent in the current year to date.

$1 = 0.8632 euros Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Keith Weir

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