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News | RTLGroup | Luxembourg, 11/10/2016

RTL Group continues strong performance

RTL Group announced its results for the nine months ending 30 September 2016. The reported Group revenue increased by 2.1 per cent to €4,230 million (January to September 2015: €4,141 million), reaching a new record level. This was driven by higher revenue from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6, RTL Nederland and RTL Group’s rapidly growing digital businesses. RTL Group’s digital revenue continued to grow dynamically, up 25.0 per cent to €430 million (January to September 2015: €344 million). Reported EBITA was up 5.6 per cent to €756 million compared to €716 million in the first nine months of 2015, mainly due to higher profit contribution from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and a positive one-off effect at Groupe M6 amounting to €43 million. RTL Group estimates that the net TV advertising markets were up in all markets in which the Group is active, with the exception of the Netherlands and Hungary. For the full year 2016, RTL Group continues to expect that TV advertising revenue will be geared towards the first half of the year. Please refer to the new press release from RTL Group for all the details. 

RTL Group Press Release

 RTL Group continues strong performance

 • January to September 2016: Revenue up 2.1 per cent to €4,230 million;

 EBITA up 5.6 per cent to €756 million

• Digital revenue grew by 25.0 per cent to €430 million

• Q3/2016 in line with expectations

• Full-year outlook confirmed 

January to September 2016: RTL Group announces its results for the nine months ending 30 September 2016.

 Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and digital drive revenue 

• Reported Group revenue increased by 2.1 per cent to €4,230 million (January to September 2015: €4,141 million), reaching a new record level. This was driven by higher revenue from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6, RTL Nederland and RTL Group’s rapidly growing digital businesses

•RTL Group’s digital revenue[1] continued to grow dynamically, up 25.0 per cent to €430 million (January to September 2015: €344 million)

• Reported EBITA was up 5.6 per cent to €756 million compared to €716 million in the first nine months of 2015, mainly due to higher profit contribution from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and a positive one-off effect at Groupe M6 amounting to €43 million.

• EBITA margin grew to 17.9 per cent (January to September 2015: 17.3 per cent)

• EBITDA was up 7.0 per cent to €903 million for the first nine months of 2016 (January to September 2015: €844 million), with an EBITDA margin of 21.3 per cent, up year-on-year (January to September 2015: 20.4 per cent)

• Despite significantly higher EBITA, net profitattributable to RTL Group shareholders was down year-on-year to €443 million (January to September 2015: €464 million), largely due to higher tax charges

• Net cash from operating activities was €625 million, leading to an increased operating cash conversion of 93 per cent (January to September 2015: 75 per cent)

• Following the payment of an interim dividend of €154 million on 8 September 2016, RTL Group had net financial debt of €988 million as of 30 September 2016 (30 June 2016: €958 million; 31 December 2015: €670 million) 

Segments: Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and Groupe M6 drive EBITA growth 

RTL Group estimates that the net TV advertising markets were up in all markets in which the Group is active, with the exception of the Netherlands and Hungary. For the full year 2016, RTL Group continues to expect that TV advertising revenue will be geared towards the first half of the year

During the first nine months of 2016, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s EBITA increased by 2.4 per cent to €468 million (January to September 2015: €457 million). This improvement was mainly driven by higher TV and digital advertising and platform revenue

Groupe M6’s EBITA was up strongly to €173 million (January to September 2015:

€136 million), mainly driven by the positive one-off effect from the gradual phase-out of the M6 Mobile contract which more than compensated the impact of the higher programming costs for the Uefa Euro 2016 live broadcasts

FremantleMedia’s EBITA decreased to €47 million (January to September 2015: €51 million), due to phasing effects and higher investment in the creative pipeline RTL Nederland’s EBITA was stable at €52 million (January to September 2015: €52 million) 

Q3/2016 in line with expectations

 • In the third quarter of 2016, reported Group revenue was stable at €1,352 million (Q3/2015: €1,353 million), mostly due to negative exchange rate effects and the expected effects of sport events in a traditionally weak quarter, which were offset by RTL Group’s dynamic growth in digital

• Reported EBITA was down by 3.3 per cent to €176 million (Q3/2015: €182 million), mostly due to lower contribution from RTL Belgium, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland due to sport events and phasing effects at FremantleMedia. EBITDA was up 3.7 per cent to €224 million (Q3/2015: €216 million)

• Net profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders decreased by 9.7 per cent to €102 million (Q3/2015: €113 million) 

“RTL Group’s strategy pays off”

Joint statement from Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-Chief Executive Officers of RTL Group:

 “During the first nine months of 2016, RTL Group once again demonstrated the sustainable success of its diversified portfolio and growth strategy. Despite two major sport events during the summer, we were able to increase both revenue and EBITA once again. This result was mainly driven by the strong performance of Groupe M6, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and our rapidly growing digital business. 

As expected, the results in the third quarter were weaker than the year before. This is the result of the expected front-loading we have experienced this year because of the sport events during the summer – namely the Uefa Euro 2016 and the Olympic Games. Nonetheless, we are in line with guidance for the full-year 2016 and on track for yet another record year. 

At the presentation of the full-year results 2014, we said that we wanted to grow digital into a strong pillar of our company, with revenue reaching 10 per cent of the Group’s total revenue within the next few years. Looking at the 9-month figures 2016, we are happy to say that our digital businesses make up more than 10 per cent of our total revenue. We have reached this milestone much quicker than expected.” 

Good start into the new TV season 

In September, the channels of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland recorded a combined audience share of 29.7 per cent among viewers aged 14 to 59 and increased the gap to the channels of ProSiebenSat1 to 4.2 percentage points (September 2015: 3.0 percentage points). On Vox, the new season of Die Höhle der Löwen was an audience favourite, recording an average audience share of 15.0 per cent in the target group

Groupe M6 also had a good start into the new autumn season with an average audience share of 23.6 per cent among women under 50 responsible for purchases in September – a 1.6 percentage points increase year-on-year. During the summer, M6 broadcast a total of 11 matches of the biggest European football competition – Uefa Euro 2016. The final between Portugal and France achieved a total audience share of 71.8 per cent. This was a new all-time audience record for M6, the most watched programme on French television year-to-date and the fifth largest TV audience ever recorded in France

Following the summer months, RTL Nederland’s channels reported an average audience share of 28.6 per cent among viewers aged 20 to 49 in September – up 0.3 percentage points year-on-year and 11.7 percentage points ahead of the commercial competitor SBS (September 2015: 11.2 percentage points) 

RTL Group continues to strengthen creative pipeline

On 24 August, FremantleMedia announced a deal with Amazon to showcase its ambitious fantasy drama, American Gods, on Amazon Prime Video in 2017. The show will be available on Amazon’s SVOD platform in Germany, Austria, UK and Japan close to its US premiere on the pay-TV channel Starz

Following the world premiere in Venice, FremantleMedia International announced sales of The Young Pope to more than 80 territories. The highly acclaimed series launched in October in Germany, Italy, France and the UK with exceptionally good ratings for pay-TV

On 14 October, UFA Fiction, FremantleMedia International and RTL Television announced that the sequel to the nationally and internationally award-winning series Deutschland 83 will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in Germany in 2018. RTL Television has secured a first-look option for the linear TV rights and expects to air the sequel on German free-to-air television in 2018/19, after Amazon’s first window 

Continued growth in dynamic digital business

The first nine months of 2016:

• RTL Group’s catch-up TV services, websites and MCNs attracted a total 197 billion online video views, up 175 per cent year-on-year (January to September 2015: 71.5 billion); thereof: FremantleMedia’s 260 Youtube channels attracted 14.0 billion views, up 45.8 per cent year-on-year (January to September 2015: 9.6 billion) 

• RTL Group now generates more than 22 billion online video views per month

• Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6 and RTL Nederland reported double-digit online video advertising revenue growth rates. Comparing January to September 2016 with January to September 2015: Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland was up 79 per cent, Groupe M6 was up 35 per cent and RTL Nederland was up 48 per cent 

Outlook

• RTL Group confirms its outlook on revenue and EBITA for the full-year 2016 as communicated on 25 August 2016

• Assuming there will not be major changes in the economic climate across RTL Group’s markets, the Group expects its total full-year revenue to continue to grow moderately (+2.5 per cent to +5.0 per cent), predominantly driven by the Group’s digital businesses and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. At the same time, the Group expects its full-year EBITA to be slightly up (+1.0 per cent to +2.5 per cent) compared to the full year 2015