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ProSiebenSat.1 Sees Q1 Revenues Up 13%, Predicts Record Earnings for 2017

Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Group recorded double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2017, with revenues hitting €910 million ($989.8 million), up 13% year-on-year from 2016’s €802 million ($872.4 million), the company announced Thursday.

Adjusted net income and adjusted EBITDA both saw growth of 10% to €88 million ($95.7 million) and €188 million ($204.5 million), respectively.

The group has seen accelerated revenue momentum in the past year thanks to new acquisitions that are expected to further strengthen growth in 2017, with the company anticipating record earnings for the year.

Speaking on a conference call Thursday morning, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Eberling and deputy group CFO Ralf Gierig said they expected to see “at least a high single-digit Group revenue growth” across the full year.

“We’re very pleased with the first quarter,” Eberling said. “All segments have contributed to growth, but the star is the digital ventures and commerce unit, which has accelerated our revenue growth and sustainably strengthened the earnings base of the Group.”

The company’s digital ventures and commerce business delivered a substantial contribution due to both organic growth of 14% and recent acquisitions, including an online dating partnership with Parship and ElitePartner, which made the biggest contribution to the company’s growth in the first quarter of this year. External revenues in the digital ventures and commerce business were up a massive 53% from €150 million ($163.2 million) in Q1 2016 to €229 million ($249.2 million).

ProSiebenSat.1’s content production and global sales unit also saw strong growth, generating €78 million ($84.9 million) in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 24% year-on-year. The company said this revenue growth was largely organic with both the global sales business and production companies in the U.S. performing well.

Eberling said advertising revenues in TV markets remained stable, although the company had slightly revised its growth estimates for the sector’s full year from 2-3% down to 1.5-2.5%. “Based on what we know and encouraging comments from the market we expect a back-loaded 2017,” said Eberling, who added that television remained the undisputed advertising medium of choice.

He also spoke to the importance in continuing dynamic growth in the company through partnerships and acquisitions, highlighting ProSiebenSat.1’s first-quarter partnership deal with U.S. lifestyle channels business Scripps Network Interactive, as well as more recent deals for a joint OTT streaming venture with Discovery Communications and the acquisition of Austrian broadcaster ATV in early April. Eberling said the acquisition of ATV had given ProSiebenSat.1 a 42% share of the advertising market in Austria, which he described as “a very robust position to continue our reach in that market.”

Eberling concluded the company continued to be “well on track” to reach 2018 revenue and profitability targets. The company aims to generate consolidated revenues of €4.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in 2018, with the digital business expected to contribute €1.7 billion ($1.9 billion). It has already achieved approximately 70% of its medium-term revenue growth target for the end of 2018.

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