Advanced Television

RTL profits hit by weak ad market

March 14, 2024

German multimedia group RTL has reported what it describes as a “strong” H2 2023. The group says its results came in in line with the guidance for the full-year 2023: On a pro-forma basis, Group revenue of €6.9 billion and Adjusted EBITA of €927 million, the latter including streaming start-up losses of €179 million.

In H2 2023, RTL Group generated an Adjusted EBITA of €677 million on a pro-forma basis, up 16.3 per cent on H2 2022 (€582 million) and the second highest ever – despite challenging advertising markets and significant streaming start-up losses

Reported figures (continuing operations, without RTL Nederland which is being sold to to DPG Media)

  • Group revenue down 5.4 per cent to €6.2 billion due to lower TV advertising revenue and lower Fremantle revenue; Group revenue down 4.1 per cent organically
  • Adjusted EBITA at €782 million; Adjusted EBITA margin of 12.5 per cent
  • Proposed dividend of €2.75 per share, in line with the Group’s dividend policy
  • RTL Group’s family of TV channels in Germany increased its lead over main commercial competitor ProSiebenSat1 to 5.8 percentage points, the highest lead in the last 10 years
  • Paying subscribers for RTL Group’s streaming services in Germany, Hungary and France up 30.5 per cent to 5.6 million; streaming revenue up 72.6 per cent to €283 million
  • Following the envisaged disposal of the Dutch streaming service Videoland and the investments in M6+ in France, RTL Group has updated the targets for its streaming services RTL+ in Germany, M6+ in France and RTL+ in Hungary: by 2026, the Group aims to reach around 9 million paying subscribers and around €750 million of streaming revenue. RTL Group plans to increase its content spend to around €500 million and to become profitable by 2026
Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, commented: “In 2023, we demonstrated the resilience of our businesses in a particularly challenging environment. As announced, we invested through the cycle. We grew our streaming services, extended our market leadership positions, in particular in Germany, and released globally acclaimed content. The second half of 2023 was one of the most profitable half-years in the history of RTL Group despite weak advertising markets and significant investments, enabling us to pay an attractive dividend. Our shareholders will also benefit in 2025 from the value crystallised by the expected sale of RTL Nederland for €1.1 billion. Our strategic framework remains unchanged. It will continue to guide us in 2024: to strengthen our core businesses, to grow our streaming and content businesses, and to build alliances and partnerships.”

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