RTL Group, the European television giant and parent company of manufacturing powerhouse Fremantle, reported a 9 percent drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2023 to €1.4 billion ($1.56 billion), largely due to a slump in its core TV business. of free TV in Germany and France.
RTL Group, which reported its latest figures on Thursday, said TV advertising markets in Germany and France were significantly lower than last year and slightly lower in the Netherlands and the company does not expect a recovery this quarter. RTL Group’s quarterly advertising revenue fell to €700 million, down 16 percent from €829 million in the prior year period, including TV advertising revenue of €545 million, down 17 percent from €653 million and €76 million in digital advertising, down 8 percent from €83 million.
Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann, RTL Group’s parent company, said a recovery in advertising would be needed in the second half of the year if RTL meets its full-year targets of €7.4 billion ($8.23 billion). ) of group sales and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) of €1.0 billion ($1.11 billion) – €1.05 billion ($1.17 billion). But Rabe was optimistic, pointing to growth in viewership in France and Germany and the successful expansion of broadcasting and streaming rights for the top sports rights, the UEFA Europa and Conference League, in Germany.
Fremantle also saw a year-on-year decline in revenue, which fell 5.6 percent to €435 million ($484.4 million), mainly, the company said, due to timing effects from production deliveries.
A bright spot were the emerging streaming services of RTL, RTL+ and Videoland, which continue to grow, with an increase of 37.1 percent to 5.9 million paying subscribers. Streaming income for the group rose by 15.6 percent, RTL reports.