RTL revenue down 16.4%

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RTL Group’s turnover fell significantly in the first half of 2020, dropping 16.4 per cent to €2.7 billion.

Advertising revenue has suffered in particular, dropping by 40 per cent from April to June. The bottom line is a profit of €156 million for the first six months of 2020, down €287 millionon the previous year.

However, the quarter is not all doom – the streaming offer in Germany and the Netherlands increased by 45 per cent, to 1.77 million subscribers. The broadcaster also noted that their audience increased for both news and entertainment formats during lockdown, and that Fremantle productions had restarted in most territories – with significant content demand from broadcasters and streaming platforms

Following a massive decline in advertising revenue due to the pandemic, the parent company of RTL Luxembourg has predicted that the market situation will calm down by the end of the year. Currently, the third quarter is down 10 per cent compared to the 2019.

For the last 3 months of the year, RTL Group has refrained from making further forecasts, stating it was difficult to predict how the situation will develop at the present time as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, commented: “RTL Group reacted promptly to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus disease by focusing on four areas: the safety of our employees, the continuity of our businesses, liquidity, and cost and cash flow management.”

“As expected, our largest revenue stream – TV advertising – declined strongly in the second quarter of 2020, but we succeeded in offsetting 50 per cent of the revenue decline. We did so without cutting into the substance of our businesses or reducing investments in our streaming services, which is reflected in gains in market shares and a significant growth in paying subscribers for our streaming services. This demonstrates the resilience of our businesses, and the strength of our management teams. Our broadcasters and Fremantle restarted productions across all genres to offer our viewers fresh and exclusive content.”

“Despite the economic uncertainty, RTL Group’s three-priority strategy – core, growth, alliances & partnerships – remains unchanged. We maintain our mid-term targets for the streaming services TV Now in Germany and Videoland in the Netherlands to grow their total number of paying subscribers to between 5 and 7 million, to grow streaming revenue to at least €500 million and to break even by 2025. The growth in paying subscribers and streaming revenue in the first half of 2020 is in line with the ‘boost’ plans we presented in March,” he concluded.


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