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BERLIN – A stronger ad market in Germany and northern Europe helped broadcast group Pro7Sat.1 avoid the worst of the ongoing Euro crisis in the first quarter. Group revenue was up 6.5 percent in the first quarter to $824 million (€635 million) while net profit soared 50.3 percent to $66 million (€50.8 million).
Pro7Sat.1’s main channels are in German-speaking Europe and Scandinavia, territories which have continued to grow even as the economies of southern Europe continue to languish and big markets including Spain and the U.K. have slipped back into recession.
The television advertising market in Germany was up 8 percent in the first quarter and the TV spend increased its share of the overall ad market by 1.8 percent to a gross share of 42.8 percent of the total ad spend. Pro7’s revenue growth of 6.5 percent suggests the company might have lost some ground to competitor RTL in its core market, though Pro7 was keen to point out the strong performance of female-focused niche network sixx, which launched in Germany two years ago and now has a 0.8 percent market share.
Higher ad revenues in Scandinavia lifted results at Pro7’s operations there. The group’s Broadcasting International division, which includes its Nordic operations, saw 6.3 percent revenue growth to $176 million million (€135.4 million). Operating profit for the division, however, slipped by nearly 17 percent to $22 million (€16.9 million).
It was a different story at Pro7’s digital division, which includes its VOD service Maxdome, which posted a 31 percent jump in revenue to $91 million (€70.5 million) and a 70.9 percent leap in operating profits to $23 million (€17.6 million). Maxdome just signed a wide-ranging deal with Sony in Germany which will place the VOD service on Sony Playstations in the territory as well as the company’s future Internet-capable home entertainment devices, including Internet TVs.
Pro7Sat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling confirmed the company’s full-year forecast on Thursday, saying he expects single-digit percentage growth in revenues and an EBITDA of more than $1.1 billion (€850 million).
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