RTL Group has published its results for the six months ended June 30th 2017.
Reported Group revenue was up 3.5 per cent to €2,978 million (H1/2016: €2,878 million), driven by higher revenue from RTL Group’s rapidly growing digital businesses (+€125 million) and from the three main business units Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland (+€36 million), Groupe M6 (+€16 million) and FremantleMedia (+€30 million). Platform revenue grew by 18.7 per cent to €159 million (H1/2016: €134 million). These positive developments more than compensated the absence of FremantleMedia’s production American Idol in H1/2017 and the fact that all European TV advertising markets, in which RTL Group is active, decreased during the reporting period.
RTL Group’s digital revenue continued to show very dynamic growth, up 47.4 per cent to €389 million (H1/2016: €264 million). This was mainly driven by organic growth at BroadbandTV and StyleHaul, the sale of American Gods to streaming service Amazon Prime Video and the first-time full consolidation of Smartclip and Divimove.
RTL Group’s revenue is well diversified with 48.7 per cent from TV advertising, 17.5 per cent from content, 13.1 per cent from digital activities, 5.3 per cent from platform revenue, 4.1 per cent from radio advertising and 11.3 per cent other revenue.
RTL Group expects its total revenue for the fiscal year 2017 to continue to grow moderately (+2.5 per cent to +5.0 per cent), driven by the Group’s digital businesses and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland.
A joint statement from Bert Habets and Guillaume de Posch, Co-Chief Executive Officers of RTL Group, read: “Over the past five years we have diversified our revenue streams – investing in rapidly growing digital video and ad-tech businesses, pushing into the production of high-end drama series and developing platform revenue for our broadcasters. The strong set of financial results in the first half of 2017 clearly underline the importance – and the success – of our total video strategy. Despite tough comparatives to the first half of 2016, RTL Group continued to grow its top line and generated a very healthy EBITDA margin of 21 per cent.”
“At the same time, the challenging development of the TV advertising markets across our footprint is a clear signal to even accelerate our strategy execution. We have just decided to take full ownership of SpotX, a leading global platform for ad-serving and programmatic ad sales. Together with the very experienced management teams of SpotX and Smartclip, we are working on an ambitious growth plan for our ad-tech businesses. This plan includes the close collaboration between SpotX and Smartclip, rolling out their solutions across our operations and scaling up the businesses with further acquisitions and partnerships.”
“Our focus on local content is clearly paying off. In Germany, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has significantly extended its audience lead over the main commercial competitor.”
“We are also delighted about the creative and financial performance of our content arm FremantleMedia – from the success of the high-end drama series American Gods to the renewal of American Idol on ABC and a very promising pipeline of new drama series such as Hard Sun and The Rain and renewals for American Gods, The Young Pope, Deutschland 86 and Modus.”
“With our strong market positions across the value chain of the total video industry and high cash flows we combine attractive shareholder returns with significant, value-creating investments into content and digital.”