RTL’s third quarter profits up

FremantleMedia-produced series such as The X Factor USA, which was recommissioned by Fox for a third season, helped boost European broadcaster RTL's third quarter earnings by nearly 6%.
November 13, 2012

European broadcaster RTL has seen profits rise by nearly 6% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year.

The company’s revenues before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) were up 5.8% year-on-year to €165 million (US$210 million) thanks largely to production company FremantleMedia, which produces The X Factor USA, The Apprentice and the Got Talent format; and the one-off sale of a building in London (RTL did not reveal what building it sold or for how much).

An upswing in TV advertising sales from Germany’s Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, despite a slump in the rest of Europe, also partially accounted for the boost. “In an increasingly tough economic environment, almost all TV advertising markets across Europe decreased during the third quarter, while the German TV advertising market was estimated to be slightly up,” the company said in a statement.

Overall, RTL’s total revenue rose 5.5% year-on-year to €1.27 billion (US$1.64 billion). The company reported that it is on track for a “solid” year but with lower earnings than last year.

Reported EBITA decreased by 9.8% to €671 million(US$853 million), as the boost in German ad sales was offset by “challenging market conditions in other countries, higher investment in programming and portfolio effects such as the disposal of the Dutch radio stations.”

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.