Given the current economic climate, RTL Group does not see any signs of either a wider advertising market rally or decline – especially with uncertainty around the Brexit and the political elections in Europe – and expects the picture in 2018 to be similar to 2017 with overall slight growth. Accordingly, RTL Group currently believes 2018 will be another challenging year for its TV channels and therefore expects only slight top line growth from its core broadcast markets.

Fremantle – RTL Group’s content production arm – will continue to face market pressure on both volumes and pricing, but should benefit from the investments made in new businesses and also in the pipeline, especially in drama and digital. The return of American Idol on 11 March 2018 should also benefit Fremantle. Accordingly, RTL Group expects Fremantle’s revenue to grow between 4 and 7 per cent with EBITDA once again progressing. This revenue growth may be negatively impacted by FX.

Digital revenues are expected to continue to show dynamic double-digit revenue growth and increase its share of RTL Group’s total revenue to at least 15 per cent until 2020 to 2022.

The company will continue to focus on cash conversion and targets 2018 levels to be broadly in line with previous years, not below 85 to 90 per cent.

RTL Group keeps a leverage target of 0.5 and 1.0 times net debt to full-year EBITDA for the financial year 2018.

The dividend policy remains unchanged: RTL Group plans to pay out between 50 and 75 per cent of the adjusted net result for the financial year 2018 as an ordinary dividend. The potential for an interim dividend payment will be assessed by the Board after having reviewed the Group’s investment pipeline, cash generation and net debt level.

Update May 2018

As in previous years with major sports events such as the Fifa Football World Cup, RTL Group does not expect that advertising revenue will show any significant growth in Q2/2018. Fremantle is expected to have a similar performance in Q2/2018 as in Q1/2018 with revenue growth set to accelerate in the second half of the year on the back of the new drama deliveries. The Group’s digital revenue should return to higher growth rates towards the end of the year as well – although the performance in Q2/2018 is likely to be weak given some particularly tough comparatives.

RTL Group confirms its outlook given at the full-year results 2017 presentation on 7 March 2018: RTL Group expects its total revenue for the fiscal year 2018 to continue to grow moderately (+2.5 per cent to +5.0 per cent), driven by the Group’s digital businesses and Fremantle. This is clearly dependent on growth in the second half of 2018 as the results are expected to be more back end loaded than the prior years and excludes potential foreign exchange impacts.

The 2017 EBITDA included a positive one-off effect of €94 million from the sale of buildings in Rue Bayard, Paris. Normalised for this effect, RTL Group expects EBITDA in 2018 to be broadly stable (-1.0 per cent to +1.0 per cent).


Outlook RTL Group

In million €




Per cent change



6,532 to 6,692

Moderately up

+2.5 to +5.0

Normalised EBITDA


1,356 to 1,384

Broadly stable

-1.0 to +1.0

12017 EBITDA normalised for the positive one-off effect from the sale of RTL Group’s buildings in Rue Bayard, Paris, of €94 million

Share this page to