RTL reported “significant profit growth” in 2013 with EBITA reaching a record full-year high, primarily driven by higher contributions from its largest profit centre Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland.
Announcing its full year 2013 results, RTL said that EBITA increased 6.9% to €1.15 billion, €622 million of which came from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland – the unit’s best ever financial result.
The division, which includes the free-to-air TV channels RTL Television and VOX, benefitted from a combination of higher ad revenue and continued cost discipline, RTL said.
Overall, profit climbed 45.7% year-on-year €870 million, thanks in part to the reversal of a €72 million 2012 impairment on RTL Group’s holding in Spanish broadcasting company Atresmedia.
However, reported Group revenue was down 1.8% to €5.89 billion as higher revenues from RTL Nederland and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland were offset by lower revenue from FremantleMedia and exchange rate effects.
“We have made good progress in strengthening our core businesses and in building new growth engines, especially in the digital world. We have already started a lot of initiatives, but we want to do more. Based on our very healthy financial position, we have the investment capacity to explore opportunities across our three strategic pillars: broadcast, content and digital,” said RTL Group’s co-CEOs Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch in a joint statement.
RTL Group claims to be the “leading European media company in online video” and through targeted investments is the third largest global player on YouTube, excluding music video services.
Its online investments last year included a minority investment in video fashion network Style Haul and a 57.5% stake in multi-channel network BroadbandTV.
FremantleMedia’s production arm EBITA was down slightly during the year to €136 million, though RTL said that it concluded its “strategic realignment” of the business and has already “scaled up investment” in its creative pipeline and format development, having launching 46 new shows in 2013.
“Operationally and financially, RTL Group has once again performed very strongly in 2013 and demonstrated its resilience in facing challenging economic conditions. With another record result from our largest profit centre, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, and good results from all other units, we have succeeded in growing all profit indicators – EBITA, profit margin and net result,” said Schäferkordt and de Posch.
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