Television Business International

Revenue and profit fall at Fremantle

Arabs-Got-Talent-season-3Turnover and profit decreased at FremantleMedia through the first nine months of the year, with parent group RTL blaming exchange rate issues, the timing of new shows coming through and lower revenues from North America as American Idol finishes.

The company said the declines were offset by growth in Europe, driven by the consolidation of the production companies in which it has invested in the region. An increased investment in new content, meanwhile, was cited as another reason for reduced EBITA profit.

Revenue across the January to September period at the production and distribution giant was €962 million (US$1.05 billion), a 5.1% decrease year-on year. EBITDA profit slipped 4.7% across the same period, taking the total to €61 million.

RTL, which broke out the numbers as part of wider company results, noted the farewell season of American Idol on Fox, and Britain’s Got Talent (pictured) in the UK performed strongly. The latter was recently renewed alongside talent show stablemate X Factor.

Twenty-seventeen shows from FremantleMedia include the much-anticipated Neil Gaiman adaptation American Gods for Starz. New commissions include a series adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock for Foxtel in Australia.

American GodsRTL does not publish figures for Jens Richter’s distribution division, FremantleMedia International, but highlighted a raft of SVOD sales, including a host of deals with Asian SVOD platforms, and the sale of American Gods to Amazon Prime.

Across the group RTL reported a 2.1% increase in revenue of €4.2 billion in the first nine months of the year. EBITA profit increased 5.6%, taking the total to €756 million. Net profit to shareholders, however, slipped to €443 million from €464 million in the same period last year, with the company blaming a higher tax charge.

RTL said that the German RTL operation and performance of the wider digital businesses drove the revenue growth. Digital revenue was up 25% at €430 million.

The broadcast and media giant said TV ad markets were up in all of the markets in which it operates aside from the Netherlands and Hungary.

Its largest operation is RTL Deutschland and it upped EBITA profit 2.4%, taking the total to €468 million with TV ads and digital driving the growth. In France, RTL owns M6, upped EBITA profit to €173 million, from €136 million in the same period last year.

The group reiterated its full year guidance.