Sales and Profits Up at RTL Group

11:45 PM PST 03/05/2012 by Scott Roxborough
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images
RTL CEO Gerhard Zeiler will leave the company in April to join Turner Broadcasting

No sign of Euro crisis at Europe’s largest broadcaster and owner of "X Factor" producer FremantleMedia.

COLOGNE, Germany – The looming fears of a Euro-wide economic crisis have yet to show up in the books of the continent’s leading commercial broadcaster as RTL Group Tuesday reported a 4.2 per cent boost in revenues to $7.6 billion (€5.765 billion) and net profits up 9 per cent to just over $1 billion (€795 million).

Profits attributable to RTL Group shareholders – German conglomerate Bertelsmann controls the broadcasting giant – were up nearly 14 per cent to $919 million (€696 million).

While operating (EBITDA) profits were essentially flat, at $1.46 billion (€1.1 billion), RTL said it saw no signs yet of a sudden downturn in the Euro-zone.

“Looking at January and February 2102 we can say that the negative development many had feared did not happen,“ said RTL’s outgoing CEO Gerhard Zeiler.

Zeiler, who has run RTL for nearly a decade, is stepping down next month to take over as president of Turner Broadcaster System International. RTL Germany head Anke Schäferkordt and international TV head Guilliaume de Posch will take over as co-CEOs of RTL Group.

RTL’s core businesses, - it’s free-TV operations in Germany, France and the Netherlands, all posted strong ratings and revenue growth while its production arm FremantleMedia, producers of American Idol and X Factor, marked a 12.3 per cent jump in revnues and a slight uptick in operting profits to $189 million (€143 million) for the year.

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