The RTL Group has for the first time reported a half-year EBITA of more than €500 million, the actual figure being €515 million, up 7.7%. Despite the sale of the shares in the French TPS platfiorm, group revenues were up 1.3% to €2,891 million. Reported EBITA margin meanwhile improved to 17.8%, with net profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders stable at €290 million despite impairment of goodwill of the UK TV activities amounting to €123 million
The Group said significant EBITA improvement at main profit centres German family of channels, M6 Group and FremantleMedia. The German family of channels increased its audience lead over ProSiebenSat1 to 4.5%, EBITA up 5.6%. M6, on the other vhand, had its best ever gross advertising market share in a first half-year, its EBITA up 7.9%, while FremantleMedia saw its EBITA grow by 8.3%.
Other highlights reported are: dynamic growth of M6 Group’s digital channels, with W9 the most-watched new channel on free DTT in France since June 2007; the asset deal with Talpa Media strengthening RTL Nederland,
integration of Radio 538, launch of fourth free-TV channel RTL 8; and the big success for M6 Mobile by Orange, with one million subscribers at the end of July 2007, a year ahead of schedule.
Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group said in a press release: “Despite the sale of TPS, revenues reached the record level achieved in the first half of 2006, which was also boosted by high advertising revenue in the lead-up to theFootball World Cup. At the same time, the results highlight how important our strategic concept of strong families of channels is. The RTL family grew its audience market shares considerably in the very competitive German market. In France, M6 Group’s digital channels showed very dynamic growth, led by W9. And the deal with John de Mol will help us to further enhance the position of RTL’s Dutch family of channels.”
However, he also added: “We remain cautious but optimistic on the outlook for advertising in the second half of the year where visibility remains limited.”