RTL Group with solid EBITA growth in the first quarter of 2008

RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its interim management statement to 31 March 2008.

Financial highlights

In EUR million

Per cent
Revenue 1,336 1,363 (2.0)
Underlying revenue* 1,323 1,363 (2.9)
Reported EBITA** 188 173 +8.7
Start up losses*** 3 8  
Adjusted EBITA 191 181 +5.5
Reported EBITA margin (%) 14.1 12.7  

The figures presented in the interim management statement are unaudited
* Adjusted for Radio 538 in the Netherlands
** EBITA represents earnings before interest and income tax expense excluding impairment of goodwill, disposal groups and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments
*** Primarily launch costs of digital television channels in the UK

RTL Group had a good start to the year as reported EBITA was up 8.7 per cent to EUR 188 million in the first quarter. This increase is mainly driven by the performance of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. Reported Group revenue was down 2.0 per cent compared to the first quarter last year to EUR 1,336 million mainly due to lower revenues in the UK and France and also due to the strong Euro. The reported EBITA margin improved to 14.1 per cent mainly due to continued cost discipline. The net cash position amounted to EUR 1,240 million with an operating cash conversion of 101 per cent.

The dividend proposal of EUR 5.00 per share was approved by the AGM on 16 April 2008. The dividend payment amounting to EUR 774 million was made on 25 April 2008.

The net TV advertising markets in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands all grew in the first quarter of 2008 whilst the French and the UK TV advertising markets were down.

The outlook for the full year 2008 remains unchanged: with regard to advertising sales, RTL Group has - despite the current economic climate - no reason to be pessimistic.

Operational highlights

About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 42 television channels and 32 radio stations in ten 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, 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 more than 10,000 hours of programming across 55 countries.