Record Results at Euro Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1

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Revenue jumps 6 percent to $3.7 billion with profits of $921 million.

COLOGNE, Germany – Pan-European broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 had another record year with revenue ticking up 6 percent to $3.7 bilion (€2.756 billion) and profits hitting $921 million (€685.3 million) in 2011.

The profit figure is nearly double what ProSiebenSat.1 earned in 2010 but the jump is largely due to the company’s sale of its channels in Belgium and the Netherlands to a consortium lead by John de Mol’s Talpa Holding for $1.6 billion (€1.2 billion). Stripping that out, profits at ProSiebenSat.1 were still up an impressive 12.4 percent at $416 million (€309.4 million).

The group, which is controlled by private equity companies KKR and Permira, saw growth in all its core operations. German-language television, still ProSiebenSat.1’s single largest profit center, saw revenue increase 2.7 percent to $2.6 billion (€1.903 billion).

The overall audience share for the company’s four main free-to-air channels – Pro7, Sat.1, Kabel 1, sixx – was up slightly to 28.9 percent of the core 14-49 demographic. One of the group's biggest coups was securing the rights to Dutch singing competition show The Voice, which has been a ratings hit for both Pro7 and Sat.1 in Germany.

ProSiebenSat.1’s fastest-growing division was its content production operations, which include international television production and sales division Red Arrow Entertainment. Red Arrow, run by Jan Frouman and Jens Richter, has been on a global buying spree, acquiring companies such as Fuse – producers of Burn Notice and The Killing, Chris Coelen’s unscripted production house Kinetic Content and Britain’s The Mob Film. In 2011 sales at the division soared nearly 150 percent to $45 million (€33.7 million).

ProSiebenSat.1 used the sale of its Benelux operations to, in part, pay down debt. By the end of last year, the group was holding $2.4 billion (€1.818 billion) in debt, down nearly 40 percent year-on-year.