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Euro Crisis Holds Profit Growth at RTL

American Idol Final Six - H 2012
FOX

Profits came in flat during the first quarter, and ad sales growth was affected by the struggles of several European territories.

BERLIN – The ongoing crisis in the Euro zone had a knock-on effect on first-quarter results at RTL Group, Europe’s leading television and radio company.

First-quarter operating profits (EBITA) at RTL were flat at $249 million (€191 million). Quarterly revenue climbed 6.3 percent to $1.72 billion (€1.32 billion) though.

While the German TV advertising market, like the country’s economy itself, continued to chug along nicely and numbers in France were up slightly, ad sales in the Dutch and Belgium markets were down, and revenue in Southern and Eastern Europe dropped sharply.

RTL’s German operations – RTL Deutschland – and M6, the group’s flagship French channel, were the main contributors to profitability in the first quarter as even production arm FremantleMedia, the producer of American Idol, continued to feel pressure on its profit margins by strapped national broadcasters.