RTL Group with solid EBITA growth in the first quarter of 2008

Luxembourg, 7 May 2008 - RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its interim management statement to 31 March 2008.


Financial highlights

In EUR million

First
quarter
2008

First
quarter
2007

Per cent
change
(%)

       
Revenue

1,336

1,363

(2.0)

Underlying revenue*

1,323

1,363

(2.9)

Reported EBITA**

188

173

+8.7

Start up losses***

3

8

 

Adjusted EBITA

191

181

+5.5

Reported EBITA margin (%)

14.1

12.7

 

_____________
The figures presented in the interim management statement are unaudited

* Adjusted for Radio 538 in the Netherlands
** 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
*** Primarily launch costs of digital television channels in the UK

RTL Group had a good start to the year as reported EBITA was up 8.7 per cent to EUR 188 million in the first quarter. This increase is mainly driven by the performance of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. Reported Group revenue was down 2.0 per cent compared to the first quarter last year to EUR 1,336 million mainly due to lower revenues in the UK and France and also due to the strong Euro. The reported EBITA margin improved to 14.1 per cent mainly due to continued cost discipline. The net cash position amounted to EUR 1,240 million with an operating cash conversion of 101 per cent.

The dividend proposal of EUR 5.00 per share was approved by the AGM on 16 April 2008. The dividend payment amounting to EUR 774 million was made on 25 April 2008.

The net TV advertising markets in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands all grew in the first quarter of 2008 whilst the French and the UK TV advertising markets were down.

The outlook for the full year 2008 remains unchanged: with regard to advertising sales, RTL Group has - despite the current economic climate - no reason to be pessimistic.

Operational highlights

  • Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland maintains its clear leadership among young viewers; RTL Television’s show highlights Ich bin ein Star - Holt mich hier raus! (I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!) and Deutschland sucht den Superstar (Idols) with strong performance

  • M6 in France successfully launched new access primetime lineup with the factual entertainment show Un dîner presque parfait (Come Dine With Me) and the newsshow 100% mag scoring high ratings; digital channel W9 continues to grow its audience figures

  • FremantleMedia with No. 1 shows on all major UK channels; American Idol (Fox) again most watched primetime show in the US, 7.5 million viewers ahead of its closest competitor

  • Five in the UK with growing audience share since mid February 2008 with a significant contribution from popular Australian drama Neighbours

  • French radio family goes from strength to strength: flagship station RTL Radio clear market leader in all ratings criteria in the first 2008 Médiamétrie survey (January to March)

  • RTL Group increased its stake in Grupo Antena 3 to just over 20 per cent

  • Comprehensive and rapidly growing catch-up TV services in Germany (RTLnow.de), France (M6replay.fr) and the Netherlands (RTLgemist.nl), Five in the UK to launch revamped video on demand service in the course of 2008

  • Re-launch of UFA Sports to invest in attractive segments of sports rights

 

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 42 television channels and 32 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, Five in the UK, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, 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 more than 10,000 hours of programming across 55 countries.