Europe’s largest broadcast network saw revenue drop 1.8 per cent to €5.89 billion as higher revenues from RTL Netherlands and RTL Germany were offset by lower revenue from FremantleMedia – its production arm which distributes talent shows including “Idol” and “The X Factor” – and the effect of exchange rate fluctuations.
Digital revenues saw a 26 per cent increase to €236 million due to both organic growth and acquisitions.
RTL Germany achieved its best financial result ever: EBITA was up 7.1 per cent to €622 million, driven by higher ad revenue and a tight cost controls.
M6 in France upped TV ad market share, but EBITA was down to €207 million, mainly due to start-up losses for digital channel 6ter, which launched in December 2012.
Anke Schaeferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, co-CEO of RTL Group, said: “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.”
RTL Group predicts its revenues and core earnings will stagnate in 2014 as advertising markets across the continent are expected to remain challenging.
“Assuming that European economies will continue to recover from the debt crisis, RTL Group expects its total revenue, at constant … exchange rates, to be broadly stable,” the group said in a statement.