RTL predicts difficult second half as profits fall

RTL Group, the pan-European broadcaster and owner of Five, has reported a 2.5% fall in first half operating profits due to “adverse” currency effects and a slowdown in advertising.

The group says that profit before interest, tax and amortisation was €502m (£398m) in the six months to the end of June, down from €515m (£409m) on the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the six months to the end of June fell by 0.9% to €2.86bn (£2.27) with net profits up 9.2% to €391m (£311m).

FremantleMedia, the RTL-owned producer of The Bill and The X Factor, reported a “solid” first half performance, with operating profit up 6.6% to €97m (£77m).

Gerhard Zeiler, RTL Group chief executive, points to a “slowdown in several advertising markets” but says the results show how “reliable” its business model is. He adds that there is an overall expectation that the second half of the year would be worse than the first six months.

He says in a statement: “We expect that the advertising market conditions will continue to be mixed across Europe, combined with low visibility.”

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