* Bertelsmann print business, southern Europe to hit profit
* Bertelsmann stops short of repeating net profit outlook
* RTL sees increasingly tough European economic environment
FRANKFURT, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Media conglomerate Bertelsmann and its RTL Group warned the economic crisis in Europe would weigh on earnings this year as companies spend less on advertising.
Bertelsmann, which also owns publishers Gruner + Jahr and Random House, previously said it saw growing net profit in 2012 but stopped short of repeating that outlook on Tuesday.
The group echoes other media and advertising groups such as Publicis, WPP and Omnicom that have cited economic headwinds as the main cause for declining advertising income.
Bertelsmann said it still saw moderate revenue growth and high operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the full year.
Europe’s largest media group, which said last month it would merge its publisher Random House with Pearson’s Penguin, said revenue rose 5.7 percent to 11.4 billion euros ($14.5 billion) over the first nine months of the year. Operating EBIT was up at 1.1 billion euros.
RTL Group, majority owned by Bertelsmann, earlier said it still expected its 2012 operating profit to drop, citing an “increasingly tough economic environment”.
And while the euro zone crisis has started to hit the German economy, RTL said its TV advertising sales slightly increased in Europe’s biggest economy.
By contrast, ProSiebenSat.1, RTL’s biggest competitor in Germany, last week reported a drop in German ad sales.