Q1/2011: Due to markets, Easter and investments, RTL Group reports lower earnings while revenues are up

Luxembourg, 9 May 2011 - RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its interim management statement to 9 May 2011.

Financial highlights

 In EUR million

 First
quarter
2011

 First
quarter
2010
1

Per cent
change

       
 Revenue

 1,255

 1,245

 +0.8

 Underlying revenue2

 1,219

 1,240

 (1.7)

 Reported EBITA3

 181

 205

 (11.7)

 Start-up losses4

 -

9

 
 Restructuring costs

 -

 3

 
 Adjusted EBITA

 181

 217

 

       
 Reported EBITA margin (%)

14.4

16.5

 

_____________
Regulated information. The figures presented in the interim management statement are unaudited.
1 Re-presented following the application of IFRS 5 to Five (discontinued operations)
2 Adjusted for Radical Media, Ludia and other minor scope changes and at constant exchange rates
3 EBITA represents earnings before interest and taxes excluding impairment of goodwill and of disposal group, and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions, and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree
4 2010: Primarily Alpha TV in Greece

Compared to an exceptional first quarter in 2010, when most of the Western European TV advertising markets recorded robust growth, the picture in the first three months of 2011 was mixed. While advertising revenue in the Netherlands (TV) and France (TV and radio) grew significantly year-on-year, the German TV advertising market was down in the first quarter of 2011. This mixed picture is also due to the Easter effect compared to 2010, when the first quarter completely included the build-up campaigns for Easter.

Against this background, consolidated revenue of RTL Group increased slightly by 0.8 per cent to EUR 1,255 million (Q1/2010: EUR 1,245 million).

Group EBITA reached EUR 181 million, down from EUR 205 million in 2010. The decrease was mainly due to lower advertising revenue and higher programme investments in Germany. The reported EBITA margin was 14.4 per cent (Q1/2010: 16.5 per cent).

The net cash position of RTL Group as of 31 March 2011 was EUR 1,647 million (31 March 2010: EUR 1,286 million). Since then, the dividend payment, amounting to EUR 774 million, was made on 29 April 2011.

Operational highlights

  • In Germany, higher programme investments, for example for event shows such as Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus! (I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!), resulted in record audience shares
    • The combined audience share of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland in the key 14 to 49 target group increased significantly to 36.5 per cent (Q1/2010: 35.9 per cent) – a new record – putting it 9.0 percentage points ahead of the ProSiebenSat1 family
    • This positive development was again driven by RTL Television which reached an audience share of 19.8 per cent among young viewers (Q1/2010: 18.0 per cent)
  • In France, M6 and W9 reported significant growth, both in terms of advertising revenue and audience share
  • RTL Nederland continued its strong performance, increasing its combined prime time audience share in the target group to 32.7 per cent (Q1/2010: 31.4 per cent), while the main commercial competitor, SBS, lost 2.3 percentage points and achieved an combined prime time audience share of 22.4 per cent
  • American Idol – co-produced and co-owned by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment – is the number 1 series in the US for 2011, winning an average audience of 23.3 million viewers for the series to date. American Idol has been the number 1 series in the US for the past eight years
  • Alpha TV in Greece continued its positive ratings development in the first quarter of 2011: the channel’s all-day audience share among viewers aged 15 to 44 increased to 16.1 per cent (Q1/2010: 14.3 per cent)

 

Outlook: Given the mixed picture on the European TV advertising markets, it is still not possible to give reliable full-year guidance for 2011 at this point in time, but RTL Group confidently expects to outperform the market in all major countries thanks to the strong audience performance of its TV channels.
 
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 41 television channels and 34 radio stations in ten countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, 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, 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 54 countries.