CLT-UFA announces estimated 1996 consolidated net profit.
Prior to the CLT-UFA merger, CLT's consolidated net profit for 1996 increased slightly compared to 1995
CLT-UFA Luxembourg, March 19, 1997
At the first meeting of the Board of Directors of CLT-UFA, following the completion of the merger on January 13, 1997, estimated consolidated profit for 1996 was presented. In its last year as a stand-alone company, CLT reported an unaudited consolidated net profit of LUF 3,372 million for 1996 compared to LUF 3,335 million for 1995.
CLT turned in a good performance in 1996 in its core businesses in an overall difficult and competitive environment :
- RTL Television, with an overall audience share of 17%, succeeded to maintain its leading position in the German TV market for the third consecutive year and increased its profitability
- M6 remains the fastest growing TV channel in France in terms of advertising revenues, and improved its overall audience share to 12.5% in 1996
- RTL, the French radio station, consolidated its audience share and confirmed its position as the leading radio station in France, in an increasingly competitive environment
- Holland Media Groep (HMG) underwent in-depth restructuring during the year and is now poised to improve its position as TV market leader in the Netherlands.
1996 has also been a very significant year for the launch of new channels, with encouraging and satisfactory results:
- RTL7, launched on December 6, 1996 reported a performance in line with its forecasts and is already well established in the Polish market
- TPS, launched on December 16, 1996 has exceeded expectations with more than 90,000 subscribers to date
- CLT pursued its strategy to invest in content and TV rights.
Start-up losses and pre-launch expenses of these new projects, as well as the costs arising from the closure of Club RTL, the digital German pay-TV project that was stopped due to the difficult market environment in Germany, were absorbed by exceptional gains made through the disposal of non-core businesses such as the TÚlÚ Star press publishing group (LUF 6.7 billion) and the former CLT headquarters in Luxembourg (LUF 0.9 billion).
Since January 13, 1997 the merged CLT-UFA Group has witnessed break-even for Premiere, the premium pay-TV channel in Germany; satisfactory subscription results for TPS in France; and the good performance in terms of audience and advertising revenues for RTL Television and M6.
On March 30, 1997 Channel 5, the UK's fifth terrestrial TV channel, in which CLT-UFA holds 29%, will be launched.
The CLT-UFA General meeting of shareholders is scheduled for May 20, 1997 and will approve audited accounts for 1996. The Board of Directors will propose a gross dividend for 1996 of LUF 122 per share, compared with LUF 120 per share in 1995.