European TV Giant RTL Group Reports Record Full-Year Earnings

New and Returning Shows for 2017  -The Young Pope - Jude Law - H 2016
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The parent company of Germany's RTL, France's M6 and 'Young Pope' producer FremantleMedia saw profits and revenue hit new highs thanks to German TV and digital expansion.

European media giant RTL Group continues to balance old and new media to impressive effect.

Its annual results published Thursday saw RTL post record revenue and profits, thanks mainly to a still-booming German TV market and to strong growth in the company's digital operations.

Group revenue at RTL was up 3.4 percent last year to $6.57 billion (€6.237 billion). Operating profits (EBITA) also hit record highs, climbing 3.3 percent to $1.27 billion (€1.205 billion). This is fifth consecutive year that RTL has delivered a record profit.

While the old school TV business still accounted for the majority of RTL's revenue — 52.1 percent came from broadcast advertising on RTL's TV and radio channels across Europe — the group is now far more diversified than it was a few years back. Content production — driven by FremantleMedia — accounted for 21.2 percent of overall revenue, and 10.7 percent came from digital activities, including from multichannel network BroadbandTV, fashion-focused MCN StyleHaul and digital video advertising group SpotX.

“2016 was another record year for RTL Group,” said RTL Group co-CEOs Guillaume de Posch and Anke Schaferkordt, who will be stepping down from her post next month. “While we currently review our options for BroadbandTV, this does not change our overall strategy — broadcast, content, digital — which focuses on two main investment goals."

They added: "One is to further expand and develop our digital businesses where global scale in content aggregation and advertising technology becomes ever more important ... and to further grow content production.”