RTL Group pulls through crisis with strong results – net result on the level of 2008

RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2009.



In EUR million

Year to December
Year to
December 2008
Per cent change
Revenue 5,410 5,774 (6.3)
Underlying revenue1 5,284 5,711 (7.5)
Reported EBITA2 755 916 (17.6)
Restructuring charges 34 32  
Start-up losses3 46 23  
Adjusted EBITA 835 971 (14.0)
Reported EBITA margin (%) 14.0 15.9  
Adjusted EBITA margin (%) 15.4 16.8  


Reported EBITA







Impairment of goodwill and of disposal group and
amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments
on acquisitions
(247) (407)  
Loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures
and other investments
- (9)  
Net financial income 10 28  
Income tax expense (220) (232)  
                   of which:  Current tax expense (192) (195)  
                                Deferred tax expense (28) (37)  
Profit for the year 298 296 +0.7
Attributable to:      
                  Minority interest 93 102  
                  RTL Group shareholders 205 194 +5.7
EPS (in EUR) 1.33 1.26  
Adjusted EPS (in EUR)4 2.85 3.87  
Proposed/paid total dividend per share (in EUR) 3.50 3.50  

Regulated information
1 Adjusted for Alpha Media Group in Greece, RTL Klub in Hungary, other minor scope changes and at constant exchange rates
EBITA represents earnings before interest and taxes excluding impairment of goodwill and of disposal group, and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments
3 Primarily Alpha Media Group in Greece and the digital television channels in the UK
Adjusted earnings per share represents the net profit for the period adjusted for impairment of goodwill, disposal groups and amortisation of fair value adjustments on acquisitions, gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments, net of income tax expense and one-off tax effects

Record second half-year leads to satisfying set of results for fiscal year 2009

Costs down by EUR 371 million, audience ratings up

Continued investments in digital activities, content and diversification

“Good results, significant net cash position, high dividend proposal”

Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, said:

“In 2009, RTL Group had to operate in a tough economic environment, in particular during the first half of the year when the TV advertising markets declined at double-digit rates. With a strong year-end finish, RTL Group again achieved good full-year results and continued to operate at high levels of profitability.

At the beginning of 2009, in the midst of the economic uncertainty, we made it our top priority to significantly reduce the cost base in our core business of TV broadcasting, without losing audience shares. We have clearly achieved this goal. In almost every country, we actually increased our audience shares as our local management teams combined comprehensive cost cutting with smart programming decisions.

RTL Group has succeeded in limiting the negative EBITA impact of the advertising revenue shortfall and achieved a net result at the level of 2008. Our focus on cash generation led to a significant net cash position of EUR 789 million at the end of 2009. Based on this sound financial position and the fact that we don’t see a major acquisition target in the short term, the Board has decided to recommend a gross dividend payout of EUR 3.50 per share, on par with the 2008 fiscal year.

The 2009 results across all our countries also show that our industry is flexible and resilient even in difficult situations and is able to master the challenges of the future. RTL Group’s decentralised structure with strong CEOs gives the company a solid competitive edge. 
Although the revenue decline has slowed considerably since autumn 2009, we cannot expect a quick recovery of advertising revenues to previous levels. While we remain cautious, we will also continue to invest in promising business opportunities, based on our strong brands and content. These include on-demand services as non-linear TV viewing grows rapidly, digital pay channels to establish a second revenue stream, content production, and our broad range of diversification businesses.”


Conference Call RTL Group Results for journalists:

Date: Thursday 11 March 2010
11.00 (Luxembourg) / 10.00 (London)
Number to dial: +44 (0)203 003 2666
Password: Media


Slides from the presentation and an MP3 file will also be available to download at RTLGroup.com

About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 45 television channels and 31 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 the company 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 9,500 hours of programming across 57 countries.