RTL group chalks up 66 percent jump in 2006 profit
Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Luxembourg-based television and radio group RTL Group reported a 66-percent jump in full-year 2006 net profit, boosted by a strong performance from its biggest channels. Group net profit surged to 890 million euros ($1.17 billion) in 2006 from 537 million euros in 2005, bringing earnings per share to 5.79 euros from 3.50 euros previously.

“2006 was a very satisfying year for RTL Group,” chief executive Gerhard Zeiler said. ”Our biggest profit contributors - the German family of channels, M6 in France, FremantleMedia, RTL Nederland and Antena 3 in Spain - delivered particularly strong performances,” he added.

The media group, which is 90-percent owned by German media company Bertelsmann, benefited from the sale of some units which generated a 207-million-euro net gain. However, underlying profit also saw strong growth, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rising 12.3 percent over the period to 851 million euros from 758 million euros.

The group also announced an exceptional dividend of 1.80 euros per share on top of an ordinary dividend 1.20 euros for a total of 3.0 euros per share for 2006. Looking ahead, Zeiler said: “Although visibility still remains limited, we are cautiously optimistic about the advertising market in 2007.”

(Source: AFP)