FremantleMedia & American Gods Lift RTL Group Q2 Revenue


In the second quarter of 2017, RTL Group’s revenue was up by 8.8 percent, mainly driven by the FremantleMedia drama American Gods and the strong performances of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and digital businesses.

Revenue for Q2 was €1.57 billion ($1.88 billion), compared to €1.45 billion in the second quarter of 2016. Reported EBITDA was down 7.4 percent to €362 million ($433 million). Adjusted for the one-off loss at M6, EBITDA was up 4 percent.

For the first half of the year, group revenue was up 3.5 percent to €2.98 billion ($3.57 billion), led by higher revenue from RTL Group’s digital businesses (up €125 million) and from the three main business units Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland (€36 million), Groupe M6 (€16 million) and FremantleMedia (€30 million). These positive developments more than compensated the absence of FremantleMedia’s American Idol and the fact that all European TV advertising markets in which RTL Group is active decreased during the reporting period.

Bert Habets and Guillaume de Posch, co-CEOs of RTL Group, commented: “Over the past five years we have diversified our revenue streams—investing in rapidly growing digital video and ad-tech businesses, pushing into the production of high-end drama series and developing platform revenue for our broadcasters. The strong set of financial results in the first half of 2017 clearly underline the importance, and the success, of our total video strategy. Despite tough comparatives to the first half of 2016, RTL Group continued to grow its top line and generated a very healthy EBITDA margin of 21 percent.

“At the same time, the challenging development of the TV advertising markets across our footprint is a clear signal to even accelerate our strategy execution. We have just decided to take full ownership of SpotX, a leading global platform for ad-serving and programmatic ad sales. Together with the very experienced management teams of SpotX and Smartclip, we are working on an ambitious growth plan for our ad-tech businesses. This plan includes the close collaboration between SpotX and Smartclip, rolling out their solutions across our operations and scaling up the businesses with further acquisitions and partnerships.

“Our focus on local content is clearly paying off. In Germany, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has significantly extended its audience lead over the main commercial competitor.

“We are also delighted about the creative and financial performance of our content arm FremantleMedia—from the success of the high-end drama series American Gods to the renewal of American Idol on ABC and a very promising pipeline of new drama series such as Hard Sun and The Rain and renewals for American Gods, The Young Pope, Deutschland 86 and Modus.

“With our strong market positions across the value chain of the total video industry and high cash flows we combine attractive shareholder returns with significant, value-creating investments into content and digital.”