German broadcast giant ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s first quarter revenue for 2021 showed a marginal 1% uptick to €938 million ($1.13 billion), despite pandemic-related lower advertising revenues.
Though the Group’s year-on-year Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) declined 9% from €157 million in 2020 to €143 million in 2021, the company is upbeat about its prospects for the year ahead, according to quarterly results published on Wednesday.
The Group has increased its full-year outlook for revenues by €100 million to a target range between €4.25 billion and €4.45 billion. For adjusted EBITDA, it’s risen from between €720 million and €780 million to between €750 million and €800 million.
Rainer Beaujean, chairman of the executive board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, said: “We are very satisfied with our start into the year 2021. Despite the continuing COVID-19 lockdown, we have achieved revenue growth in the first quarter and limited the impact on adjusted EBITDA — even though the previous-year figures were mostly not yet affected by the pandemic until mid-March 2020. This is clearly due to our increasing diversification: Particularly with our good results in the dating and commerce and ventures segments, we largely compensated for the pandemic-driven declines in the advertising business.”
While the dating and commerce and ventures are indeed robust, the broadcaster’s entertainment business has sustained notable losses, albeit with some silver linings.
External revenues in the entertainment segment amounted to €610 million in the first quarter of 2021 — 8% below 2020’s €664 million. Advertising revenues in the entertainment segment decreased by 14%. However, revenues from program production and sales rose by 20%. Distribution revenues also increased by 8% year-on-year, in particular due to higher numbers of HD users.
Red Arrow is a production subsidiary of ProSiebenSat.1 that produces the popular Netflix dating show “Love is Blind.”
“Our diversification is our strength,” said Beaujean. The executive also talked up the increasingly localized focus of the Group’s entertainment offerings.
“Our local formats are very popular with our target group and are increasingly in demand,” said Beaujean. “This is why we have expanded our offerings intensively over the last few years. In these program environments, the synergies that we offer our dating and commerce an ventures brands through our advertising spaces also come into play completely. At the same time, we understand our local competencies and our reach as responsibility.”
“We make an important contribution to media and opinion diversity in this country and are very conscious of this role,” Beaujean added. “We are therefore further strengthening our journalistic program and increasingly combine entertainment with current, relevant topics.”