Q1/2010: RTL Group more than doubles its operating result to EUR 197 million

Luxembourg, 6 May 2010 - RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its interim management statement to 6 May 2010.

Financial highlights

 In EUR million

 First
quarter
2010

 First
quarter
2009

Per cent
change

       
 Revenue

 1,308

 1,188

 +10.1

 Underlying revenue1

 1,274

 1,188

 +7.2

 Reported EBITA2

 197

 87

 +126.4

 Start-up losses3

 10

18

 
 Restructuring costs

 3

 9

 
 Adjusted EBITA

 210

 114

 

       
 Reported EBITA margin (%)

15.1

7.3

 

_____________
Regulated information. The figures presented in the interim management statement are unaudited.
1 Adjusted for RTL Klub in Hungary, other minor scope changes and at constant exchange rates
2 EBITA represents earnings before interest and income tax expense excluding impairment of goodwill and disposal groups, amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments
3 Primarily Alpha Media Group in Greece and the digital television channels in the UK

Compared to a weak first quarter in 2009, most of the Western European TV advertising markets recorded robust growth during the first quarter 2010, with Germany, France and the UK showing the best development. In Germany, RTL Group’s family of channels clearly outperformed the market in the reporting period. Against this background, reported Group revenue increased significantly by 10.1 per cent to EUR 1,308 million (Q1/2009: EUR 1,188 million).

Thanks to improved results from all broadcasting activities – and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland in particular - reported Group EBITA more than doubled (+126.4 per cent) to EUR 197 million (Q1/2009: EUR 87 million), even surpassing the first-quarter results of 2008 (EUR 188 million). This translated to a reported EBITA margin of 15.1 per cent (Q1/2009: 7.3 per cent).

On 1 February 2010, Groupe M6 announced the exercise of its put option to sell its 5.1 per cent stake in Canal Plus France to Vivendi. This led to the payment of the minimum guaranteed amount of EUR 384 million by Vivendi to Groupe M6 on 22 February 2010.

The net cash position of RTL Group as of 31 March 2010 was EUR 1,286 million (31 March 2009: EUR 741 million). Since then, the dividend payment, amounting to EUR 541 million, was made on 29 April 2010.

Outlook: Given the positive business development in the first months of 2010, RTL Group expects to improve on last year’s results. However, developments on the various advertising markets can only be predicted to a very limited degree. This has to do partly with the strong fourth quarter of 2009 - at the moment, no one can tell what the fourth quarter will look like this year, given the low visibility and economic environment.

Operational highlights

  • The combined audience share of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland in the key 14 to 49 target group increased to 35.3 per cent (Q1/2009: 34.2 per cent) – a new record – putting it 5.7 percentage points ahead of the ProSiebenSat1 family. This positive development was driven by RTL Television which reached an audience share of 18.0 per cent among young viewers (Q1/2009: 16.9 per cent)
  • RTL Group’s market-leading flagship channels in the Netherlands (RTL 4) and Belgium (RTL-TVI) also reported higher audience shares compared to Q1/2009
  • In France, Groupe M6’s main digital channel, W9, again reports strong growth, both in terms of advertising revenue and audience share, which increased to 3.6 per cent in the main commercial target group of housewives aged under 50 (Q1/2009: 3.0 per cent)
  • Alpha TV in Greece continued its positive ratings development in the first quarter of 2010: the channel’s all-day audience share among viewers aged 15 to 44 increased to 14.3 per cent (Q1/2009: 13.1 per cent)
  • In March, FremantleMedia acquired the remaining 25 per cent of the production company Blu, the market leader in Denmark and Sweden, taking FremantleMedia’s ownership to 100 per cent; in April, FremantleMedia took over 100 per cent of the Netherlands-based independent production company Four One Media


 
For further information please contact:

Media
Oliver Herrgesell
Corporate Communications
Phone: +352/2486 5200
Investor Relations
Andrew Buckhurst
Investor Relations
Phone: +352/2486 5074


About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 45 television channels and 31 radio stations in 11 countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, Five in the UK, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, Alpha TV in Greece, Ren TV in Russia and Antena 3 in Spain. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and the company also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces 9,500 hours of programming across 57 countries.