French broadcaster TF1 has reported a H1 current operating profit reached €107.6 million, an increase of €50.1 million year-on-year, including €30.7 million of savings arising from the lack of any major sporting events during the first half of 2017. The effects of the multi-channel strategy adopted from the back to school period in 2016 and of the transformation of the Group had a positive impact of €19.4 million on first-half current operating profit, with a contribution of 1.9-point to the improvement in margin. Recurring cost savings of €14 million were achieved under the “Recover” plan.
The Group posted an operating profit of €96.0 million after charging €11.6 million of non-current expenses related to the amortisation of intangible assets identified in connection with the Newen Studios acquisition.
Overall, net profit attributable to the Group was €74.6 million, including the gain arising on the divestment of the equity interest in Groupe AB, in the Group’s share of the profits and losses of joint ventures and associates.
The TF1 group continued to roll out its multi-channel strategy in the first half. The five free-to-air channels attracted a combined audience share of 32.5 per cent among W<50PDM (+1.1 points year-on-year). Within this target audience, a slight fall in the share taken by the TF1 core channel (21.9 per cent, -0.6 of a point year-on-year) was more than offset by audience growth for the four DTT channels pool4 (10.6 per cent, +1.7 points year-on-year).
Advertising revenue for the Group’s free-to-air TV channels rose by 1.2 per cent year-on-year, thanks to very good DTT audience figures and sponsorship revenue.
Other revenue for the Broadcasting segment increased by €8.3 million (+8.2 per cent). After a good first-quarter performance, growth in digital advertising revenue offset weaker interactivity in the second quarter.
The Broadcasting segment recorded a current operating profit of €91.5 million, up €53.5 million year-on-year. The contribution from the free-to-air channels improved by €47.7 million mainly on stronger advertising revenue, reduction in the cost of programmes, and cost savings achieved under the “Recover” plan.
Commenting on its outlook for the second half of the year, TF1 said: ” The TF1 group’s performances in the first half of 2017 – advertising revenue growth of 1.2 per cent for the five free-to-air channels, a 1.1-point rise in audience share in target advertising markets, an increased share of the gross advertising market, and higher margins – all confirm the positive trend that began in the autumn of 2016 and the relevance of its multi-channel strategy. At a time of fierce competition in terms of scheduling, we will invest in high-impact programmes in the second half of the year while remaining within our overall objectives. The broadcasting of new programmes, such as the summer saga Demain nous appartient (produced by Newen Studios) and French dramas (La Mante, Le Tueur du Lac, Les Chamois and Les Bracelets Rouges), combined with the return of strong, iconic brands such as Koh-Lanta, Danse avec les stars and The Voice Kids will impact positively the second half of the year.”
“The second half of the year will also open up new opportunities for advertisers to invest in slots for 2018, especially in digital via the EBX European digital airtime sales alliance and the launch of Studio71 France. In addition, the launch of territory-specific advertising in Belgium will enable advertisers to target French-speaking Belgian audiences from late 2017 onwards.”