ProSiebenSat.1 claims improved profitability

By Robert Briel
November 5, 2009

Consolidated revenues of ProSiebenSat.1 Group declined by 7.9 percent during the third quarter of 2009, to EUR 559.4 million (Q3 2008, adjusted for CMore: EUR 607.6 million). The Group said it was able to offset the decline in revenues by consistent cost management.

The operating margin thus improved by 1.6 percentage points, to 16.9 percent. At EUR 94.4 million, recurring EBITDA was 1.8 percent higher than the prior year figure of EUR 92.7 million (adjusted for CMore).

During the third quarter of 2009 external revenues of the advertising-financed Free TV in German-speaking Europe segment (the most important revenue region) were down by only 2.0 percent (EUR 6.9 million), revenues in the Free TV International segment declined by 14.4 percent (EUR 25.2 million).

Besides lower TV advertising revenues in Europe the ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s consolidated revenues were influenced by the sale of CMore in particular. Adjusted for the effects of the CMore deconsolidation (revenue contribution in Q3 2008: EUR 38.9 million), Group revenues for the third quarter of 2009 were down by 7.9 percent (EUR 48.2 million).

Looking to the future the Group said “Our planning remains conservative, an dequate investment policy and consequent cost control will still be our priority.”

In the third quarter 2009, operating costs fell by 9.6 percent or EUR 49.6 million year on year, to EUR 469.2 million. For the first nine months of 2009 they decreased by 11.4 percent or EUR 193.2 million (adjusted for CMore).

The group said its German channels Sat.1, ProSieben, kabel eins and N24 increased their aggregate viewer market share by 0.8 percentage points during the third quarter of 2009, to 30.5 percent