RTL Group with strong performance in a challenging year

Luxembourg, 12 March 2009 - RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2008.


Highlights

In EUR million

Year to December
2008

Year to
December 2007

Per cent change

       
Revenue

5,774

5,707

+1.2

Underlying revenue1

5,748

5,603

+2.6

Reported EBITA2

916

898

+2.0

Restructuring costs and non recurring items

32

(3)

 
Start-up losses3

23

38

 

Adjusted EBITA

971

933

+4.1

Reported EBITA margin (%)

15.9

15.7

 

Adjusted EBITA margin (%)

16.8

16.3

 

 

 

   
Reported EBITA

916

 898

+2.0

Amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries and joint ventures

(31)

 (19)

 
Impairment of goodwill and disposal groups

(364)

(133)

 
Impairment of goodwill on associates

 (12)

-

 
(Loss)/Gain from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments

(9)

 76

 
Net financial income

28

 22

 
Income tax expense

(232)

 (170)

 
                   of which: Current tax expense

(195)

 (267)

 
                                Deferred tax (expense)/income

(37)

 97

Profit for the year

296

 674

Attributable to:    
                  Minority interest

102

 111

 
                  RTL Group shareholders

194

 563

Adjusted EPS (EUR)4

3.87

 3.54

+9.3

Proposed/paid ordinary dividend per share (EUR)

1.40

 1.30

+7.7

Proposed/paid extraordinary dividend per share (EUR)

2.10

 3.70

(43.2)

_____________

1 Adjusted for scope changes and at constant exchange rates
2 
EBITA represents earnings before interest and income tax expense excluding impairment of goodwill, disposal groups and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments
3 Primarily launch costs of digital television channels in France, Germany and the UK
4 Adjusted earnings per share represents the net profit for the period adjusted for impairment of goodwill, disposal groups and amortisation of fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments, net of income tax expense and one-off tax effects

RTL Group increases revenue and EBITA, for the seventh consecutive year

  • Reported EBITA of EUR 916 million, up 2.0 per cent, despite a tougher economic climate

  • Reported Group revenue up 1.2 per cent to EUR 5,774 million; underlying revenue, at constant exchange rates, up 2.6 per cent

  • Reported EBITA margin improved to 15.9 per cent

  • Net profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders down to EUR 194 million (2007: EUR 563 million), mainly due to an impairment of goodwill of the UK TV activities amounting to EUR 337 million

  • Net cash from operating activities of EUR 1,065 million resulting in an operating cash conversion of 114 per cent

  • Proposed ordinary dividend for 2008 up to EUR 1.40, from EUR 1.30 for 2007; once again proposed extraordinary dividend of EUR 2.10 for 2008 (EUR 3.70 for 2007)

  • Increasingly challenging advertising conditions across Europe


Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and FremantleMedia with record EBITA

  • Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland with its best year ever; EBITA up 25.6 per cent;
    leading position on the German TV advertising market significantly strengthened

  • FremantleMedia reports growing revenue and EBITA figures for the fifth consecutive year, driven by its slate of international prime time hit formats; EBITA up 18.3 per cent

  • EBITA of Groupe M6 in France impacted by a major programme investment for the European football championship 2008; free DTT channel W9 continued its rapid audience and revenue growth and generated positive EBITA for the first time

  • RTL Nederland implemented a restructuring programme at the end of 2008;
    EBITA down 17.6 per cent also due to these one-time restructuring charges


Selective acquisitions and launches to strengthen core business activities

  • Acquisition of a 66.6 per cent majority shareholding in Alpha Media Group, Greece’s number four broadcasting company

  • RTL Group builds up comprehensive catch-up TV services in Germany (RTLnow.de), France (M6replay.fr), the Netherlands (RTLgemist.nl) and in the UK (Demand.Five.tv)

  • Investments to strengthen RTL Group’s internet portfolio

    • Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland acquired the fast-growing social network Wer-kennt-wen.de

    • Groupe M6 acquired a 100 per cent stake in the Cyréalis group

  • Launch of exclusive mobile TV channel RTL 24 in the Netherlands

  • Relaunch of marketing agency UFA Sports to round off RTL Group’s portfolio and to further diversify revenue streams


“A position of strength”

Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, said:

“In spite of increasingly difficult advertising markets in Europe, in 2008 RTL Group increased its revenue and operating result for the seventh year running. The company has a broad-based, secure setup, and is active in many countries and business areas. In particular, strong performances at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and FremantleMedia contributed to the increase in profits.

Based on the 2008 results and the cash position, we propose a total dividend of EUR 3.50 per share - consisting of an ordinary dividend of EUR 1.40 and an extraordinary dividend of EUR 2.10.

This position of strength is the result of our strategy, which is based on strict investment criteria. In 2008, we significantly stepped up our online activities with targeted acquisitions and investments. After our takeover of the Alpha Media Group in Greece, we now have 45 TV channels in 11 European countries.

Operating in a very challenging time, we are experiencing a substantial slowdown in advertising bookings. We will respond to this by focusing on our core business, and by reviewing all costs and structures. This will result in a significantly lower cost base in all of our operations.

Given the current state of the advertising markets, and the very short-term bookings cycle, it is impossible to give reliable full-year guidance. But it has to be expected that the profitability level will be down compared to 2008.”

Conference Call RTL Group Results for press:

Date:

Thursday 12 March 2009
11.00 (Luxembourg) / 10.00 (London)

Number to dial:

+44(0)20 7138 0825     UK toll
+33(0)1 70 99 42 76     France toll
+49(0)69 2222 2244     Germany toll

Confirmation Code: 4471846

 

The slides of the presentation and the mp3-file will also be available on www.rtlgroup.com


 
For further information please contact:

Media                                                                            
Oliver Herrgesell
            
Corporate Communications
Phone: +352/2486 5200
oliver.herrgesell@rtlgroup.com 

Investor Relations
Andrew Buckhurst    
Investor Relations
Phone: +352/2486 5074
andrew.buckhurst@rtlgroup.com


About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 45 television channels and 32 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 it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces 10,000 hours of programming across 57 countries.