RTL Group continues strong performance

10 November 2016
  • January to September 2016: Revenue up 2.1 per cent to €4,230 million;
    EBITA up 5.6 per cent to €756 million
  • Digital revenue grew by 25.0 per cent to €430 million
  • Q3/2016 in line with expectations
  • Full-year outlook confirmed

Luxembourg, 10 November 2016 − RTL Group announces its results for the nine months ending 30 September 2016.


January to September 2016:
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and digital drive revenue


  • Reported Group revenue increased by 2.1 per cent to €4,230 million (January to September 2015: €4,141 million), reaching a new record level. This was driven by higher revenue from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6, RTL Nederland and
    RTL Group’s rapidly growing digital businesses
  • RTL Group’s digital revenue1 continued to grow dynamically, up 25.0 per cent to
    €430 million (January to September 2015: €344 million) 
  • Reported EBITA was up 5.6 per cent to €756 million compared to €716 million in the first nine months of 2015, mainly due to higher profit contribution from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and a positive one-off effect at Groupe M6 amounting to €43 million.
    EBITA margin grew to 17.9 per cent (January to September 2015: 17.3 per cent)
  • EBITDA was up 7.0 per cent to €903 million for the first nine months of 2016 (January to September 2015: €844 million), with an EBITDA margin of 21.3 per cent, up year-on-year (January to September 2015: 20.4 per cent)
  • Despite significantly higher EBITA, net profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders was down year-on-year to €443 million (January to September 2015: €464 million), largely due to higher tax charges
  • Net cash from operating activities was €625 million, leading to an increased operating cash conversion of 93 per cent (January to September 2015: 75 per cent)
  • Following the payment of an interim dividend of €154 million on 8 September 2016,
    RTL Group had net financial debt of €988 million as of 30 September 2016 (30 June 2016: €958 million; 31 December 2015: €670 million)


Segments: Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and Groupe M6 drive EBITA growth


  • RTL Group estimates that the net TV advertising markets were up in all markets in which the Group is active, with the exception of the Netherlands and Hungary. For the full year 2016, RTL Group continues to expect that TV advertising revenue will be geared towards the first half of the year
  • During the first nine months of 2016, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s EBITA increased by 2.4 per cent to €468 million (January to September 2015: €457 million). This improvement was mainly driven by higher TV and digital advertising and platform revenue
  • Groupe M6’s EBITA was up strongly to €173 million (January to September 2015:
    €136 million), mainly driven by the positive one-off effect from the gradual phase-out of the M6 Mobile contract which more than compensated the impact of the higher programming costs for the Uefa Euro 2016 live broadcasts
  • FremantleMedia’s EBITA decreased to €47 million (January to September 2015:
    €51 million), due to phasing effects and higher investment in the creative pipeline
  • RTL Nederland’s EBITA was stable at €52 million (January to September 2015:
    €52 million)


Q3/2016 in line with expectations


  • In the third quarter of 2016, reported Group revenue was stable at
    €1,352 million (Q3/2015: €1,353 million), mostly due to negative exchange rate effects and the expected effects of sport events in a traditionally weak quarter, which were offset by RTL Group’s dynamic growth in digital
  • Reported EBITA was down by 3.3 per cent to €176 million (Q3/2015: €182 million), mostly due to lower contribution from RTL Belgium, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland due to sport events and phasing effects at FremantleMedia. EBITDA was up
    3.7 per cent to €224 million (Q3/2015: €216 million)
  • Net profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders decreased by 9.7 per cent to
    €102 million (Q3/2015: €113 million)


“RTL Group’s strategy pays off”


Joint statement from Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-Chief Executive Officers of RTL Group:

“During the first nine months of 2016, RTL Group once again demonstrated the sustainable success of its diversified portfolio and growth strategy. Despite two major sport events during the summer, we were able to increase both revenue and EBITA once again. This result was mainly driven by the strong performance of Groupe M6, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and our rapidly growing digital business.

As expected, the results in the third quarter were weaker than the year before. This is the result of the expected front-loading we have experienced this year because of the sport events during the summer – namely the Uefa Euro 2016 and the Olympic Games. Nonetheless, we are in line with guidance for the full-year 2016 and on track for yet another record year.

At the presentation of the full-year results 2014, we said that we wanted to grow digital into a strong pillar of our company, with revenue reaching 10 per cent of the Group’s total revenue within the next few years. Looking at the 9-month figures 2016, we are happy to say that our digital businesses make up more than 10 per cent of our total revenue. We have reached this milestone much quicker than expected.”


Good start into the new TV season


  • In September, the channels of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland recorded a combined audience share of 29.7 per cent among viewers aged 14 to 59 and increased the gap to the channels of ProSiebenSat1 to 4.2 percentage points (September 2015:
    3.0 percentage points). On Vox, the new season of Die Höhle der Löwen was an audience favourite, recording an average audience share of 15.0 per cent in the target group
  • Groupe M6 also had a good start into the new autumn season with an average audience share of 23.6 per cent among women under 50 responsible for purchases in September – a 1.6 percentage points increase year-on-year. During the summer, M6 broadcast a total of 11 matches of the biggest European football competition – Uefa Euro 2016. The final between Portugal and France achieved a total audience share of 71.8 per cent. This was a new all-time audience record for M6, the most watched programme on French television year-to-date and the fifth largest TV audience ever recorded in France
  • Following the summer months, RTL Nederland’s channels reported an average audience share of 28.6 per cent among viewers aged 20 to 49 in September – up
    0.3 percentage points year-on-year and 11.7 percentage points ahead of the commercial competitor SBS (September 2015: 11.2 percentage points)


RTL Group continues to strengthen creative pipeline


  • On 24 August, FremantleMedia announced a deal with Amazon to showcase its ambitious fantasy drama, American Gods, on Amazon Prime Video in 2017. The show will be available on Amazon’s SVOD platform in Germany, Austria, UK and Japan close to its US premiere on the pay-TV channel Starz
  • Following the world premiere in Venice, FremantleMedia International announced sales of The Young Pope to more than 80 territories. The highly acclaimed series launched in October in Germany, Italy, France and the UK with exceptionally good ratings for pay-TV
  • On 14 October, UFA Fiction, FremantleMedia International and RTL Television announced that the sequel to the nationally and internationally award-winning series Deutschland 83 will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in Germany in 2018. RTL Television has secured a first-look option for the linear TV rights and expects to air the sequel on German free-to-air television in 2018/19, after Amazon’s first window


Continued growth in dynamic digital business

  • RTL Group has a strong and rapidly growing presence across all digital platforms.
    In the first nine months of 2016:


  • RTL Group’s catch-up TV services, websites and MCNs attracted a total
    197 billion online video views, up 175 per cent year-on-year (January to September 2015: 71.5 billion)


  • thereof: FremantleMedia’s 260 Youtube channels attracted 14.0 billion views, up 45.8 per cent year-on-year (January to September 2015: 9.6 billion)


  • RTL Group now generates more than 22 billion online video views per month
  • Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Groupe M6 and RTL Nederland reported double-digit online video advertising revenue growth rates. Comparing January to September 2016 with January to September 2015: Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland was up 79 per cent, Groupe M6 was up 35 per cent and RTL Nederland was up 48 per cent


  • RTL Group confirms its outlook on revenue and EBITA for the full-year 2016 as communicated on 25 August 2016
  • Assuming there will not be major changes in the economic climate across
    RTL Group’s markets, the Group expects its total full-year revenue to continue to grow moderately (+2.5 per cent to +5.0 per cent), predominantly driven by the Group’s digital businesses and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. At the same time, the Group expects its full-year EBITA to be slightly up (+1.0 per cent to +2.5 per cent) compared to the full year 2015


Key financial figures: January to September 2016

In € million

January to September 2016

January to September 2015

Per cent










Reported EBITA2




Reported EBITA margin (per cent)








EBITDA margin (per cent)




Reported EBITA




Amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries




Re-measurement of earn-out arrangements



Gain/(loss) from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree







Net financial expense




Income tax expense




Profit for the period




Attributable to:




      Non-controlling interests




      RTL Group shareholders








Reported EPS (in €)












































Interim report


The interim financial report, slides from the analyst presentation and an MP3 file of the analyst conference call will be available to download at:




1 Excluding e-commerce, home shopping and platform revenue for digital TV

2 EBITA represents earnings before interest and taxes excluding impairment of goodwill and of disposal group, and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries, impairment of investments accounted for using the equity method, re-measurement of earn-out arrangements, and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree

3 EBITDA represents EBIT excluding amortisation and impairment of non-current programme and other rights, of goodwill and disposal group, of other intangible assets, depreciation and impairment of property, plant and equipment, impairment of investments accounted for using the equity method, re-measurement of earn-out arrangements, and gain or loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree

For further information please contact:

Corporate Communications

Oliver Fahlbusch
Executive Vice President
Corporate Communications & Marketing
RTL Group
T.: +352 / 24 86 5200

Investor Relations

Andrew Buckhurst
Senior Vice President
Investor Relations
T.: +352 / 24 86 5074

About RTL Group

RTL Group is a leader across broadcast, content and digital, with interests in 60 television channels and 31 radio stations, content production throughout the world and rapidly growing digital video businesses. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Hungary and Antena 3 in Spain. The Group also operates the channels RTL CBS Entertainment and RTL CBS Extreme in Southeast Asia. RTL Group’s families of
TV channels are either the number one or number two in eight European countries. The Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group’s content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international creators, producers and distributors of multi-genre content outside the US. With operations in 31 countries, FremantleMedia’s comprehensive global network is responsible for more than 10,000 hours of programming a year and distributes over 20,000 hours of content worldwide. Combining the catch-up TV services of its broadcasters, the multi-channel networks BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and Divimove as well as FremantleMedia’s 260 YouTube channels, RTL Group has become the leading European media company in online video. RTL Group also owns a majority stake in the programmatic video advertising platform SpotX. For more information, please visit RTLGroup.com and follow RTL Group on Twitter @rtlgroup.

RTL Group – Entertain. Inform. Engage

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