Five's higher profits boost RTL Group

LONDON - Five owner RTL Group's pre-tax profits surged by a fifth in Q3, thanks in part to higher profits from the UK broadcaster.

RTL Group: Five helped boost parent's performance
RTL Group: Five helped boost parent's performance

The pan-European TV group said its EBITDA, or pre-tax profit, was Euro92m in Q3, up from Euro75m a year earlier. Revenues were, however, down 5% year on year to Euro1.13bn, as it noted TV advertising markets across Europe decreased "significantly year on year".

RTL Group did not break out revenues for Five. However, it noted that Five was one of several of its European TV channels that posted "higher profit contributions", along with operations such as RTL Deutschland and its French broadcaster M6.

The company added that its "strong focus on cost cutting" in its core TV businesses "continues to yield positive results". It said operating costs fell by Euro289m in the first none months of 2009, compared to the same period of 2008.

Looking ahead, it said that since September, advertising bookings have been up year on year in "almost all of RTL Group's markets", compared to the first eight months of the year.

However, it warned that with "no visibility for the rest of the year, the group remains cautious".

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