Sound results after nine months in 2008

RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, announces its interim management statement to 30 September 2008.

Financial highlights

In EUR million

January to
January to
Per cent
Revenue 4,052 4,039 +0.3
Underlying revenue* 4,095 4,039 +1.4
Reported EBITA** 577 568 +1.6
Restructuring charges and non-recurring items (23) 6  
Start up losses*** (13) (29)  
Adjusted EBITA 613 591 +3.7
Reported EBITA margin (%) 14.2 14.1  

The figures presented in the interim management statement are unaudited
* Adjusted for Radio 538 in the Netherlands, 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 launch costs of digital television channels in the UK and other minor projects

Bucking a tougher economic climate, RTL Group generated sound results in the period January to September 2008: operating profit (EBITA) increased slightly to EUR 577 million (2007: EUR 568 million). Particularly strong performances from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and FremantleMedia compensated for significant negative effects such as the slowdown in several advertising markets, the major programme investment for the European football championship 2008 at Groupe M6 in France and restructuring charges at RTL Nederland.

Revenue in the reporting period was stable at EUR 4,052 million (2007: EUR 4,039 million). Stripping out the effects of the portfolio changes, underlying revenue at constant exchange rates came to EUR 4,095 million. The net cash position at 30 September 2008 amounted to EUR 755 million (30 June 2008: EUR 588 million) with an operating cash conversion of 125 per cent (2007: 122 per cent).

TV advertising market conditions were very mixed in the reporting period with Germany and the Netherlands reporting positive growth. Elsewhere, net TV advertising markets were down year-on-year with Spain and France reporting the most severe decline. RTL Group’s operations continued to outperform the markets in many countries, most notably in Germany and France (TV and radio).

The outlook for the full year 2008 remains unchanged: despite the current economic climate and continued low visibility on the advertising markets, RTL Group remains cautiously optimistic about achieving its financial targets in 2008.

Operational highlights

About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 43 television channels and 31 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.