RTL plans to double FremantleMedia size

Five owner RTL Group has announced plans to double the size of its flagship FremantleMedia production and distribution company.

It revealed the proposal today after announcing its 2007 results. The company made a profit of €674m overall, 40% lower than the previous year. Five's profit before interest, tax and amortisation was €10m, an improvement on a €1m loss in 2006.

Chief executive Gerhard Zeiler said Five's performance was "driven by stringent cost management at the main channel". Fremantle's profits before interest, tax and amortisation were €131m and Zeiler said it had plans for a major expansion.

"We have a plan and a goal of doubling the size of FremantleMedia in the next five to seven years," he said. "This will come partly from growth and also (will) have to come in acquisitions."

Its success has been fuelled by international hits such as ... Got Talent, American Idol and the X Factor.

Zeiler also said the effect of premium-rate phone in scandals had cost RTL about €5m. He confirmed Five is in negotiations to join the Kangaroo VoD project with the BBC, Five and ITV.