M6, RTL Deutschland and digital boost RTL Group results

Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch

Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch

France’s M6 Group and RTL Deutschland helped boost international media group RTL’s first half performance, which also benefited from strong growth in digital.

First half revenues were up 3.2% to €2.878 billion, with digital revenue up 20.5% to €264 million. The performance dipped in the second quarter, however, with revenue dropping by 2.3%. This was due to lower revenue from production outfit FremantleMedia, which RTL said was primarily related to phasing effects, along with the impact on advertising of the Euro2016 football championship, except in France, where M6 aired some matches.

RTL’s EBITDA was up 8.1% to €679 million, with an EBITDA margin of 23.6%.

Net TV advertising was up in all markets except Hungary. Digital business performed strongly, with RTL Group’s catch-up TV services, websites and MCNs attracting a total 123.1 billion online video views, up 190% year-on-year. RTL Deutschland, M6 and RTL Nederland reported double-digit online video advertising revenue growth rates

Net profit was down slightly, falling from €351 million to €341 million due to higher tax charges.

RTL raised its EBITA outlook for the full year. It now expects EBITA to grow by between 1% and 2.5% if there are no major changes in the economic climate across its markets. Its revenue outlook – of growth between 2.5% and 5% – was maintained.

The results came as FremantleMedia struck a deal with Amazon to show its fanatasy drama American Gods on Amazon Prime next year. The show will be available on Amazon’s SVOD platform in Germany, Austria, UK and Japan following its US premiere on Starz

Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, co-CEOs of RTL Group, said that the performance of the group “confirmed once again the sustainable success of RTL Group’s portfolio and growth strategy”.

“While we focus our M&A investments on content and digital, our broadcasting businesses continue to generate strong audience figures and high cash flows. Our biggest profit centre, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, is going from strength to strength and has succeeded in generating higher first-half EBITA for seven consecutive years,” the pair said.

“We are also delighted to see that our French TV and radio broadcasters have outperformed their respective audience and advertising markets and posted significantly higher EBITA contributions for the first half of the year. With M6 Mobile, the management team of Groupe M6 – together with Orange – has demonstrated how to capitalise on our powerful brands to diversify revenue streams, create successful services, and add substantial value in a win-win relationship”.