Bertelsmann’s Luxembourg-based media giant RTL Group, which owns Fremantle, has declared revenues of €1.56 billion ($1.64 billion) for the first quarter of 2022, a growth of 11.3%.
The RTL Group has interests in 64 television channels, nine streaming services and 36 radio stations. The group’s content business, Fremantle, is one of the world’s largest creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content, including “American Idol,” “Britain’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor.”
Fremantle revenues were up 6.5% to €461 million (Q1/2021: €433 million) with the stated target of full-year revenue of €3 billion by 2025 on track. In March, Fremantle struck a wide-ranging deal with Angelina Jolie.
The group’s TV advertising revenues were up 11% to €829 million (Q1/2021: €745 million), of which €653 million represented TV advertising revenue (Q1/2021: €587 million), €83 million digital advertising revenue (Q1/2021: €78 million) and €46 million radio advertising revenue (Q1/2021: €48 million).
Paying subscribers for the group’s streaming services RTL+ and Videoland were up 58% to 4.3 million and revenues by 23% to €64 million (Q1/2021: €52 million)
The full-year outlook for 2022 has been confirmed with group revenue of approximately €7.4 billion and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization of approximately €1.15 billion.
Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said: “RTL Group started dynamically into the new year despite the uncertainties resulting from the war in Ukraine. In the first quarter of 2022, revenue grew by 11.3%, thanks to growth across TV advertising, content and streaming, partly driven by scope effects.”
“In the first three months of this year, we reached important milestones in our strategy to create national media champions. The combination of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr was finalized, and the integration process is progressing well. At the end of March, we closed the sale of RTL Belgium. Our global content business Fremantle acquired majority stakes in Lux Vide and Dancing Ledge Productions to further boost its scripted business. To create an international advertising sales champion, we will combine our international sales houses RTL AdConnect, G+J iMS and the media division of Smartclip.”
“We are expecting to close the sale of RTL Croatia and to get the regulatory approvals for the major consolidation moves in France and the Netherlands. These moves will create significant value for RTL Group’s shareholders and put us in a strong position to compete with the global tech and streaming platforms.”
“RTL Group continues to deliver on its targets for its growth businesses of streaming, content and addressable TV advertising – and we have the resources and capabilities to further boost these businesses to create value for our viewers, clients and shareholders,” Rabe added.