RTL Group, Europe’s leading broadcaster and content provider announces its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2004.

10 March 2005, Luxembourg



In EUR million Year to
 Year to
 Per cent
Year to December 2004
Year to December 2003
Per cent Change 
Revenue  4,878  4,452  +9.6  4,926  5,039  (2.2)
Reported EBITA [2]  711  487  +46.0  717  594  +20.7
Restructuring costs and non recurring items  15  60  (75.0)  15  60  (75.0)
Start up losses [3]  38  14  >100.0  38  14  >100.0
Adjusted EBITA 764 561 +36.2 770 668 +15.3
Reported EBITA  margin (%) 14.6 10.9 n.a. 14.6 11.8 n.a
Adjusted EBITA margin (%) 15.7 12.6 n.a 15.6 13.3 n.a
Reported EBITA 711 487 +46.0 717 594 +20.7
Amortisation and impairment of goodwill and fair value adjustments on acquisitions[4] (19) (317) >100.0 (20) (333) >100.0
Gain/(loss) from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments (18) 3 n.a (18) 3 n.a
Net financial expense (44) (55) (20.0) (44) (54) (18.5)
Income tax expense (196) (95) >100.0 (198) (128) +54.7
Minority interest (67) (9) >100.0 (70) (72) (2.8)
Reported net result 367 14 >100.0 367 10 >100.0
Adjusted EPS (EUR) [5] 2.63 2.14 +22.9 2.64 2.21 +19.5
Proposed / paid dividend per share (EUR) 0.95 0.80 +18.8 n.a n.a n.a


Strong operational performance produces record levels of profit and margin

  • Record reported EBITA of EUR 711 million, up 46.0 per cent with margin rising from 10.9 per cent to 14.6 per cent
  • Pro forma EBITA of EUR 717 million, up 20.7 per cent

[1]  Following the change in consolidation method for M6, which has been fully consolidated from February 2004, pro forma un-audited numbers have been provided as if M6 had been fully consolidated as of 1 January 2003
[2] EBITA represents earnings before interest and income tax expense excluding amortisation and impairment of goodwill and fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain/(loss) from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments
[3]  RTL Shop, RTL Televizija, Traumpartner TV, Yorin FM and RTL FM (2003 : RTL Shop, RTL Televizija, RTL FM and Plug TV)
[4]  No amortisation of goodwill has been recognised for the year ended December 2004 as a result of the early adoption of IFRS 3 as from 1 January 2004
[5]  Adjusted earnings per share represents the net profit/(loss) for the year adjusted for amortisation and impairment of goodwill and fair value adjustments on acquisitions and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, joint ventures and other investments, net of income tax expense



  • Strong audience and advertising market positions maintained in spite of the Euro 2004 championships and the Olympic Games being shown on rival channels
  • Group revenue of EUR 4,878 million, up 9.6 per cent.  Pro forma revenue of EUR 4,926 million, down 2.2 per cent but with underlying revenue up 1.2 per cent
  • Positive net result of EUR 367 million, up from EUR 14 million in 2003
  • Net cash position of EUR 246 million reflecting strong operating cash conversion of 99 per cent
  • Proposed dividend of EUR 0.95 per share, up 18.8 per cent


Profit centre highlights

  • All established profit centres EBITA positive and with increased contribution
  • Record EBITA at RTL Television, M6, Five, RTL Nederland, Antena3 and FremantleMedia
  • Five continues to make gains in both audience and advertising market share
  • Successful turnarounds at Antena 3 and RTL Nederland
  • FremantleMedia’s record results driven by successes in the US and Germany


Strategic developments

  • Full consolidation of M6 following the near complete exit of Suez
  • Launch of RTL Televizija, a new television channel in Croatia, and increase of participation from 33 per cent to 65.5 per cent
  • Acquisition of strategic participation in Grupo Media Capital in Portugal
  • Strengthening of family of channels through the launch of Plug TV in Belgium in February and the acquisition of Paris Premiere by M6 in France in May
  • Completion of restructuring of technical services division with disposal of London Playout Centre in March
  • Partial sale of Sportfive, Europe’s leading sport rights trading business in June

Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group said “2004 has been a record year for RTL Group and most of our profit centres.  We have continued to actively manage our portfolio of assets, expanded geographically into Croatia and Portugal and further strengthened our families of channels in France and Belgium.

In 2004 advertising market conditions continued to be mixed in Europe. Spain was the out- performer with the UK and France strong and Belgium showing moderate growth. Germany and the Netherlands continued to be weak. In the first two months of 2005 the picture remains mixed with low forward visibility. We are therefore cautious on how the advertising markets will develop this year.     

The broadcasting industry has gone through a testing period over the last few years. We have taken the necessary measures to improve our profitability, generate cash, and build a strong balance sheet with no financial debt. We are thus well placed to seize internal and external growth opportunities.

Our strategy remains consistent and based upon three themes - the development of the families of channels to counter audience fragmentation, growth and exploitation of diversification businesses and geographic expansion. We are convinced that this continues to be the right approach to further strengthen our unique position as the only truly pan-European television company.”


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