COMPANIES & STRATEGIES - SERVICES & ADVISORY

Half-year results

RTL Group mid-year profits hit €929m



The European broadcasting giant is now aiming to generate higher revenues in 2021, thanks in particular to a rebound in advertising and streaming revenues. (Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne)

The European broadcasting giant is now aiming to generate higher revenues in 2021, thanks in particular to a rebound in advertising and streaming revenues. (Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne)

RTL Group generated a profit of €929m in the first half of the year, a record for the audiovisual giant, which has raised its forecasts in response to the nearly sixfold increase in half-year profits compared to 2020.

The company's revenue rose 13.7% to €3bn, with adjusted pre-tax profit (Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation – EBITA) of €483m, up 87% year-on-year.

"Adjusted Ebita and group profit grew strongly, driven by the recovery of the TV advertising markets and growth in our content production and streaming," said Thomas RabeThomas Rabe, CEO of the Luxembourg and Cologne-based multinational, in a statement.

The drivers of advertising and streaming

Revenue generated by television advertising rose by 65% in the second quarter. Over the whole of the first half of the year, the number of paying subscribers to the group's streaming services exceeded 3m (+72%).

The first half of the year was also marked by major consolidation measures in the group's key markets, such as Germany and the Netherlands, but also in France--where the sale of M6 to TF1 was launched--and Belgium--where its subsidiary was sold to two press groups.

In this context, RTL Group has raised its revenue outlook to €6.5bn for the current financial year, €300m more than previously anticipated (the same for its adjusted Ebita moving from €975m to  €1.05bn).

The company is also counting on its international content business, Fremantle, which has had a new international factual content division since last May to boost its activity. Its parent company is aiming to achieve a turnover of €3bn by 2025.

The time has come to reposition our RTL brand with a new identity and a clear set of principles.

Thomas RabeCEORTL Group

"The time has come to reposition our RTL brand with a new identity and a clear set of principles," said the CEO, who cited positive leisure time and independent journalism in a press release. He also announced an "international redeployment of the brand in 2022", guided in particular by the rebranding of TV Now as RTL+ on the German side.

RTL Group employs 590 people in Luxembourg, according to Statec.

This article was originally published in French on Paperjam and has been translated and edited for Delano.