RTL Group results for the six months ending June 30th 2021 show that group revenue was up 13.7 per cent to €3.014 billion (H1/2020: €2.652bn), mainly as a result of strong growth of TV advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2021, of Fremantle and of the streaming businesses. Group revenue was up 21.5 per cent organically compared to the first half of 2020 and up 2.1 per cent organically compared to the first half of 2019.
In the first half of 2021, RTL Group’s families of channels gained net TV advertising market shares in France, the Netherlands, Hungary and Croatia. Groupe M6 and RTL Nederland reported higher audience shares while RTL Deutschland’s market share decreased slightly.
“In the first half of 2021, RTL Group performed strongly,” commented Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group. “Adjusted EBITA and Group profit were up significantly, driven by the recovery of TV advertising markets and the growth of our content production and streaming businesses. This, combined with active portfolio management, led to a record Group profit of €929 million. Following RTL Group’s strong performance in the first six months, we have raised our outlook for the full year 2021 and now expect an Adjusted EBITA of around €1,050 million including streaming start-up losses and €1,200 million before streaming start-up losses.”
“Over the past months, we have made significant progress in the execution of our national champions strategy. Major moves in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium will create significant value for RTL Group’s shareholders and put us in a strong position to compete with the global tech platforms.”
“In addition, we will accelerate the expansion of our content production business, Fremantle – both organically and via M&A – targeting €3 billion revenue by 2025. Fremantle will continue to focus on scripted, non-scripted and increasingly on factual shows and documentaries. The acquisitions of Abot Hameiri, Eureka and Nent Studios so far this year were first steps.”
With all these changes, the time has come to reposition our core RTL brand with a new identity and a clear set of principles. We will strengthen RTL as Europe’s leading entertainment brand that stands for positive entertainment and independent journalism, as well as inspiration, energy and attitude. We will rebrand TV Now to RTL+ in Germany in autumn 2021 and will start the international roll-out in 2022,” he revealed
On June 30th 2021, RTL Group registered 3.045 million paying subscribers for its streaming services TV Now in Germany and Videoland in the Netherlands, up 72.1 per cent year on year (June 2020: 1.769 million).
Paying subscribers for TV Now increased 118.9 per cent year on year to 2.029 million (June 2020: 0.927 million). The strategic partnership with Deutsche Telekom to bundle TV Now Premium within Magenta TV contributed significantly to the growth.
Paying subscribers for Videoland grew 20.7 per cent year on year to 1.016 million (June 2020: 0.842 million).
In March 2021, RTL Deutschland and Sky Deutschland announced an agreement for closer collaboration in the areas of streaming and content. TV Now Premium has been available for an additional premium on the Sky Q platform since June 2021. As part of the agreement, Sky exclusively sub-licenses Formula One free-to-air rights to RTL Deutschland for the seasons 2021 and 2022.
In June 2021, RTL Nederland and T-Mobile in the Netherlands announced that Videoland will become part of T-Mobile’s new ‘Unlimited & Entertainment’ proposition. With the new offer, customers gain access to both Videoland Plus and Netflix Standard as well as unlimited 5G data, calling and SMS in the T-Mobile network in the Netherlands with an attractive price advantage.
In July 2021, Groupe M6 announced it would strengthen its advertising-funded streaming service 6play, offering more original content, several international films and formats, and spin-offs from linear reality shows from Groupe M6. The streaming service will also include themed channels as well as live sports on the new channel Le Live by 6play.
RTL Group has raised its outlook for 2021. This outlook assumes that the economic recovery from Covid 19 will continue in 2021, as vaccination programmes progress and no new lockdown measures are put in place.
RTL Group expects its revenue to increase to approximately €6.5 billion (previous guidance: €6.2 billion). This includes, among others, the scope effects of the deconsolidation of BroadbandTV (as of 28 October 2020) and SpotX (as of 30 April 2021) and of the full consolidation of Eureka (as of 17 May 2021) and Super RTL (as of 1 July 2021).