August 22, 2013 08.19 Europe/London By Robert Briel

The RTL Group said that it continues to grow its digital presence, both organically and through targeted investment in high-growth areas.
The Group is extending its presence across all digital platforms. In the first half of 2013:RTL Groupís video services and websites attracted a total 4.8 billion online video views, up 35% year-on-year; Thereof, FremantleMediaís more than 100 Youtube channels attracted 2.9 billion online video views, up 86% year-on-year. Online video advertising was up 39% in Germany, 24% in France, and 34% in the Netherlands year-on-year.
In June 2013, RTL Group acquired a 51% majority stake in Broadband TV, Youtubeís fifth largest Multi-Channel Network (MCN). Broadband TV manages more than 8,500 channels and generates around 800 million video views per month. With this strategic partnership, RTL Group has become the number 4 player on Youtube (excluding music video services) and strengthened its position in North America.
In July 2013, RTL Nederland acquired a 65 per cent stake in The Entertainment Group, the leading pay video-on-demand (VOD) company in the Netherlands, which operates the VOD services Videoland and Movie Max Online.
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland continued to expand its digital distribution with extensive new content agreements to broadcast its linear TV channels via the online OTT platforms Zattoo and Magine.
RTL said that TV advertising market conditions remained challenging in the first half of 2013: only the German net TV advertising market was estimated to be stable year-on-year, while all of RTL Groupís other core markets decreased. Accordingly, reported Group revenue was slightly down 1.3% to Ä2,779 million.
RTL Groupís EBITA increased significantly by 9.1% to Ä552 million; the second best first-half EBITA in the Groupís history.
Reported EBITA margin also increased significantly, reaching 19.9%, compared to 18.0% in the first half of 2012.
EBITA of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland increased by 9.3% to Ä306 million Ė the best ever first-half operating profit for RTL Groupís largest profit centre; the German RTL family of channels achieved a combined audience share of 31.2% among viewers aged 14 to 59, and increased its market leadership to 6.7 percentage points over its main commercial competitor
In France, Groupe M6 outperformed in tough market conditions: while the French TV advertising market was estimated to be down 6.0% in the first half of the year, Groupe M6ís EBITA was slightly up to Ä127 million and the company continued to gain TV advertising market share.
FremantleMedia reported a higher EBITA of Ä47 million (H1/2012: Ä40 million), mainly driven by increased contributions from FremantleMedia North America and FremantleMedia Asia Pacific; the results also demonstrated the benefits of previous restructuring on costs.
RTL Nederlandís EBITA was stable at Ä38 million, despite an estimated 5.6% decline of the Dutch TV advertising market; the unit also reported a stable combined prime time audience share of 32.4% in the commercial target group, maintaining a clear lead of 12.1 percentage points over its main commercial competitor.