Q3: RTL Group reports EBITA growth year-on-year

RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its interim management statement to 30 September 2009.

Financial highlights

 In EUR million

Q3/2009 Q3/2008 Per cent
Revenue 1,129 1,188 (5.0)
Underlying revenue1 1,097 1,172 (6.4)
Reported EBITA2 92 75 +22.7
Start-up losses3 (6) (2)  
Restructuring charges (3) (17)  
Adjusted EBITA 101 94 +7.4
Reported EBITA margin (%) 8.1 6.3  

In the third quarter of 2009, RTL Group’s EBITA increased 22.7 per cent to EUR 92 million from EUR 75 million in the same period last year. This growth in EBITA was driven by higher profit contributions from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6, RTL Nederland, RTL Radio in France and Five. With TV advertising markets across Europe decreasing significantly year-on-year, RTL Group’s reported revenue was down 5.0 per cent to EUR 1,129 million in the third quarter of 2009 (Q3/2008: EUR 1,188 million). The reported EBITA margin was 8.1 per cent, up from 6.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2008.

In EUR million January
Per cent
Revenue 3,717 4,052 (8.3)
Underlying revenue1 3,624 3,993 (9.2)
Reported EBITA2 410 577 (28.9)
Start-up losses3 (41) (13)  
Restructuring charges (23) (23)  
Adjusted EBITA 474 613 (22.7)
Reported EBITA margin (%) 11.0 14.2  

Regulated information. The figures presented in the interim management statement are unaudited.
Adjusted for Alpha Media Group in Greece, other minor scope changes and at constant exchange rates
EBITA represents earnings before interest and income tax expense excluding impairment of goodwill and disposal groups, amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments
Primarily Alpha Media Group in Greece and the digital television channels in the UK 

During the period January to September 2009 reported revenue was down 8.3 per cent to EUR 3,717 million (Q1-3/2008: EUR 4,052 million), while reported EBITA declined to EUR 410 million (Q1-3/2008: EUR 577 million). The EBITA decrease is due to lower profit contributions from most profit centres, higher start-up losses and significant one-time charges. As already reported at the half-year results presentation at the end of August 2009, these one-time charges include restructuring costs in the UK, Germany and Greece, and a programme write-down at Five. The reported EBITA margin for the first nine months of the year was 11.0 per cent compared to 14.2 per cent for the same period last year.

RTL Group’s strong focus on cost cutting in its core TV broadcasting businesses continued to yield positive results: on a constant scope basis, excluding restructuring costs and other one-off effects, operating costs fell by EUR 289 million compared to the period January to September 2008. This represents a compensation of 78.3 per cent of the Group’s underlying revenue decrease.

The net cash position as of 30 September 2009 amounted to EUR 405 million (30 September 2008: EUR 755 million), with an operating cash conversion of 88 per cent (Q1-3/2008: 125 per cent).

Since September 2009 advertising bookings have been better in almost all of RTL Group’s markets, compared to the first eight months of the year. However, as there is no visibility for the rest of the year, the Group remains cautious. Based on the ongoing cost-saving efforts, which are still unfolding their full impact, RTL Group is confident that it can continue to mitigate the EBITA decrease.

Operational highlights

About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 46 television channels and 30 radio stations in 11 countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, Five in the UK, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, Alpha TV in Greece, Ren TV in Russia and Antena 3 in Spain. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces 10,000 hours of programming across 57 countries.