RTL H1 net up 26.1 per cent to ?324 million

RTL H1 net up 26.1 per cent to ?324 million

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MUMBAI: RTL Group has reported a 26.1 per cent jump in net profit to ?324 million for the first half of 2011.

Revenue grew 3.4 per cent to ?2,751 million, reflecting
higher TV ad revenues in RTL Group?s key territories Germany, France and the Netherlands plus growing revenue from the television format creator and distributor FremantleMedia.

First-half Ebita was up 3.7 per cent to ?557 million, reaching its highest level yet. This improvement was mainly driven by higher profit contributions from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6 and RTL Nederland

The Group reported Ebita margin stood stable at 20.2 per cent. Net cash from operating activities stood at ?463 million, resulting in operating cash conversion of 96 per cent and net cash position of ?973 million at the end of June

European TV advertising markets presented a mixed picture in the first half of 2011. While the markets in France, the Netherlands and Belgium were up year-on-year, the German market remained flat. The markets in South and Eastern Europe reported lower advertising revenue compared to the first six months of 2010

Most of RTL Group?s key businesses continued to outperform. With RTL Television reporting significantly higher audience ratings, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland continued to increase its clear audience leadership over its main competitor to a record 7.4 percentage points; Ebita was up 4.3 per cent to ?268 million

In France, M6 and W9 reported significant growth, both in terms of advertising revenue and audience share; M6 was the only major French channel to increase its audience share year-on-year; Ebita of Groupe M6 was up 11.2 per cent to ?149 million.

RTL Nederland succeeded in capitalising its record audience ratings into double-digit growth of TV advertising revenue; Ebita was up 84.4 per cent to ?59 million.

RTL Group?s production arm FremantleMedia reported revenue growth of 4.2 per cent, driven by higher revenue in North America and the first-time full consolidation of recent acquisitions Radical Media and Ludia; FremantleMedia?s Ebita was down 20.0 per cent to ?72 million, mainly due to general pressure on margins and volumes from broadcasters.

RTL Group?s channel in Greece, Alpha TV, continued to operate in a difficult market environment: while the channel increased its audience and advertising share, the Greek TV advertising market was still down dramatically

RTL Group continued to develop its portfolio. In July, RTL Group announced to acquire a portfolio of seven
Hungarian cable channels plus a further 31 per cent shareholding in the country?s market leader, RTL Klub; this brings RTL Group?s shareholding in RTL Klub to 98 per cent.

In July, RTL Group signed agreements with its Croatian business partners, Atlantic and Agrokor, to acquire their respective 13 per cent shareholdings in the Croatian broadcasting operation RTL Hrvatska (RTL Televizija and RTL 2, launched in January 2011).

In July, RTL Group announced that it had exercised its put option towards Talpa Media Holding. Following this put option, RTL Group will get back Talpa Media?s 26.3 per cent minority shareholding in RTL Nederland in exchange for the Group?s 73.7 per cent interest in Radio 538.

In June, RTL Group swapped its 30 per cent shareholding in Ren TV for a 7.5 per cent shareholding in the Russian media company National Media Group (NMG), as part of an agreement with the current shareholders of NMG

RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler said, ?After the strong growth seen in the Western European TV advertising markets in 2010, the first six months of this year show a mixed picture. Nevertheless, RTL Group has again managed to improve all key indicators ? revenue, Ebita and net profit."

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