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RTL Group reports record year

RTL Group has reported that 2015 revenue increased 3.8 per cent to €6,029 million (2014: €5,808 million), mainly driven by increasing revenue at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, growing digital revenue and favourable exchange rate effects

RTL Group said its revenue is well diversified, with 53.7 per cent from broadcast advertising (TV and radio), 22 per cent from content, 8.4 per cent from digital activities, 4.1 per cent from platform revenue (€248 million) and 11.8 per cent “other revenue”.

Once again, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland closed the year with a financial record: EBITA grew significantly by 5.2 per cent to €684 million (2014: €650 million), resulting in a best-in-class EBITA margin of 32.0 per cent (2014: 31.8 per cent). This improvement was mainly driven by higher TV advertising and diversification revenue

Despite a strong performance in TV, Groupe M6’s EBITA decreased to €205 million (2014: €209 million), mainly due to lower contribution from diversification activities (home-shopping operations, the football club Girondins de Bordeaux and others)

In line with previous guidance, EBITA of FremantleMedia – RTL Group’s content production arm – decreased to €103 million (2014: €113 million), reflecting the reduction in American Idol and increased investment in the creative pipeline.

RTL Nederland’s EBITA was down 1.9 per cent to €101 million (2014: €103 million), reflecting start-up losses in video on demand, and the termination of the Sizz partnership with Vodafone in 2014.

At RTL Hungary, EBITA was up to €21 million (2014: loss of €1 million), driven by oneoff effects such as the partial reversal of a stock valuation allowance and the reclaiming of the advertising tax paid in 2014.

RTL Group’s digital revenue4 continued to show strong growth, up 72.2 per cent to €508 million (2014: €295 million). Performance benefitted from organic growth and new acquisitions.

All of the three main businesses of the RTL Digital Hub – BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and SpotX – continued to show strong individual revenue growth. Year-on-year, BroadbandTV was up 102 per cent5, StyleHaul was up 87 per cent5, SpotX was up 56 per cent.

RTL Group’s catch-up TV services, websites and MCNs attracted a total 105 billion online video views, almost tripled year-on-year (2014: 36.4 billion video views)

A joint statement from Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-Chief Executive Officers of RTL Group said: “Despite a mixed picture in the global economy, 2015 was a record year for RTL Group: for the first time in the history of our Group, revenue exceeded €6 billion, with EBITA also reaching a new all-time high. Our biggest profit centre, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, grew significantly and generated another record profit – for the fourth consecutive year.”

“With our digital investments in North America – BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and SpotX – we’ve reached critical mass in online video within a very short period of time. This is also reflected in our strong set of financial results: with more than half a billion euros in revenue, digital has become a highly dynamic third pillar for RTL Group, in addition to our market-leading broadcasting and content production businesses.”

“The strong cash flows generated by our families of channels allow us to combine attractive dividend payments with further acquisitions to pursue our two main investments goals. The first is to further expand and develop our digital businesses where global scale in content aggregation and advertising technology becomes ever more important. The second goal is to further grow content production, because we’re certain that producing our own content and owning the rights to it will be one of the keys for further growth.”

“As part of this strategy, FremantleMedia is making sound progress to increase its creative diversity. As FremantleMedia is already one of the biggest independent production companies, their focus is on partnering with creative talent to develop new projects for ,FremantleMedia’s unrivalled international network. This trend will continue and see scripted entertainment taking a larger share of FremantleMedia’s total revenue.”

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