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RTL “very strong start to 2016”

RTL Group has reported that Q1 revenue was up 9.5 per cent to €1,432 million (Q1/2015: €1,308 million). This was driven by higher revenue from FremantleMedia, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and RTL Group’s rapidly growing digital businesses.

RTL estimates that the net TV advertising markets were up in all markets in which the Group is active:
– Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s EBITA grew strongly by 8.5 per cent to €166 million (Q1/2015: €153 million), driven by higher TV advertising revenue
– At Groupe M6, EBITA increased to €48 million (Q1/2015: €41 million), reflecting higher EBITA contributions from the main channel M6, the rights business and the football club Girondins de Bordeaux
– FremantleMedia’s EBITA increased to €13 million (Q1/2015: €3 million), benefiting from higher revenue contribution from all major operations (in particular in the UK, North America and Germany), phasing effects as well as scope effects
– RTL Nederland’s EBITA was up to €1 million (Q1/2015: loss of €3 million), mainly due to significantly higher TV advertising sales – operating against low comparables of Q1/2015 – and the digital business

A joint statement from Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-Chief Executive Officers of RTL Group, read: “RTL Group has recorded a very strong first quarter following the positive performance of our broadcasting business all over Europe. FremantleMedia also positively contributed to the extraordinary result, mainly due to last year’s acquisitions and improved results in all major markets.”

“However, as stated in prior years, the first quarter is not necessarily an indicator for the full year, especially in heavy sports years such as 2016. We expect that TV advertising revenue will be geared towards the first half of year, as advertisers shift their spend due to big sporting events. Accordingly, RTL Group maintains its outlook for the full year 2016 and expects total revenue to increase moderately and EBITA to be broadly stable. With the acquisition of Smartclip, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will significantly expand its capabilities in digital advertising sales and thus complements our growth strategy: In Germany the reach of our portfolio, and thus our advertising inventory, will grow substantially. At the same time the transaction strengthens our technological capabilities in Europe and offers opportunities globally for innovation in cooperation with SpotX.

“Based on the strong first quarter results and our very healthy financial position, we have the capacity to explore further investment opportunities throughout the rest of 2016, and we will continue to focus on expanding and developing our digital businesses as well as growing content production. On average, we plan to invest around €250 million per year for acquisitions, applying our strict investment criteria to generate profitable growth.”

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