M6, the French national TV channel, has posted a consolidated revenue of €1.27 billion in 2020, down 12.5 per cent (€182.5 million) partly due to the Covid-19 crisis and the fall in ad revenues to €980.5 million (down €127.4 million or 11.5 per cent) but has recorded a stable TV business EBITA at €225.6 million vs €223.6 million in 2019.
The group, whose parent Bertelsmann is eying a sale to possible buyers such as Vivendi and Altice, has claimed its second higher ever net profit at €276.6 million. M6 has “successfully and rapidly adjusted its level of operating expenditure, which fell by €168.9 million, by offsetting 93 per cent of the decline in revenues through cost savings” the company said. Net savings reached €67.6 million across programmes and €101.3 million in other costs.
M6 Group also indicates it has completed three major transactions that include the merger of iGraal with Global Savings Group, which strengthens its position in digital marketing by becoming the leading shareholder in the new structure, the opening up of the capital of its technology subsidiary Bedrock to RTL Group and the disposal of the home shopping operating activity. These transactions generated capital gains of €123.5 million over the year.
The TV division contributed €225.6 million to EBITA, representing a year-on-year increase of €2 million. “Within an unfavorable market environment, M6 Group’s core business managed to increase its operating profit, providing further evidence of the flexibility of its model” the group adds.
With EBITA of €21.9 million, compared with €30.1 million in 2019 (down €8.2 million), M6 absorbed 66 per cent of the fall in revenues in its radio activity through cost savings.
In 2020, ‘diversification revenue’ totaled €135.8 million, a fall of €60.3 million, €57.6 million of which was due to negative effects in the spin-off of iGraal (€30.2 million) and home shopping (€18.1 million), as well as to the termination of M6 mobile by Orange (€9.4 million). EBITA from diversification stood at €13.0 million, against €25.3 million in 2019, which included €15.1 million for activities discontinued or sold in 2020.
At the end of its results presentation, M6 Group announced the creation of a CRS Committee whose role will be to advise the Board on environmental, societal and social issues and of a Strategic Committee. Its mission will be to improve understanding of the operational and competition issues associated with the Group’s different activities. This Committee will be tasked with reviewing national consolidation issues as mentioned in RTL Group’s communication.