RTL Group: revenues down, EBITA up

By Robert Briel
November 10, 2009 10.56 UK

RTL Group’s EBITA increased 22.7% in the third quarter to €92 million from €75 million in the same period last year. This growth was driven by higher profit contributions from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6, RTL Nederland, RTL Radio in France and the UK’s Five.

With TV advertising markets across Europe decreasing significantly year-on-year, RTL Group’s reported revenue was down 5.0% to €1,129 million in the third quarter of 2009 (Q3 2008: €1,188 million). The reported EBITA margin was 8.1%, up from 6.3% in the third quarter of 2008.

During the period January to September 2009 reported revenue was down 8.3% to €3,717 million (Q1-3/2008: €4,052 million), while reported EBITA declined to €410 million (Q1-3/2008: €577 million). The EBITA decrease is due to lower profit contributions from most profit centres, higher start-up losses and significant one-time charges. As already reported at the half-year results presentation at the end of August 2009, these one-time charges include restructuring costs in the UK, Germany and Greece, and a programme write-down at Five. The reported EBITA margin for the first nine months of the year was 11.0% compared to 14.2% for the same period last year.

RTL Group also said it is extending its online video services with the launch of new catch-up TV services in Germany (Vox Now), France (W9 Replay) and Hungary (RTL Most). Groupe M6 complemented its offer with a new paid service, M6 VOD, which features premium content such as movies and season passes for popular TV series.