RTL Group ends 2020 with strong rebound in TV advertising and high streaming growth
Full-year Group revenue: €6,017 million (2019: €6,651 million)
Full-year Adjusted EBITA: €853 million (2019: €1,156 million). Adjusted EBITA margin: 14.2 per cent (2019: 17.4 per cent); more than 70 per cent of revenue decrease offset by cost savings on a comparable basis1
Profit for the year: €625 million (2019: €864 million)
Operating free cash flow: €1,005 million (2019: €1,199 million). Operating cash conversion rate: 123 per cent (2019: 105 per cent)
Proposed dividend of €3.00 per share, in line with the Group’s dividend policy
RTL Group audience ratings outperform commercial competitors in the Group’s largest territories: Germany, France and the Netherlands
Paying subscribers for RTL Group’s streaming services in Germany (TV Now) and the Netherlands (Videoland) up 52 per cent to 2.19 million
Portfolio management: disposals of BroadbandTV and iGraal generate capital gains of €158 million; full acquisition of RTL Belgium; disposal of SpotX and full acquisition of Super RTL announced in Q1/2021
RTL Group announces its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020.
Strong rebound of TV advertising in the second half of 2020
Group revenue decreased 9.5 per cent to €6,017 million (2019: €6,651 million), mainly due to declining TV advertising markets across Europe in Q2/2020 and lower content production revenue as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Group revenue was down 6.8 per cent organically2.
TV advertising revenue across the Group was up 0.8 per cent year on year in the second half of 2020 and up 2.8 per cent year on year in Q4/2020.
Streaming revenue3 from TV Now and Videoland grew by 20.6 per cent to €170 million (2019: €141 million).
Adjusted EBITA4 was down to €853 million (2019: €1,156 million). The Adjusted EBITA margin was 14.2 per cent (2019: 17.4 per cent).
Profit for the year decreased by 27.7 per cent to €625 million (2019: €864 million), mainly due to the decrease in Adjusted EBITA. This was partly compensated by lower income tax expense and capital gains.
Net cash from operating activities was €933 million. The operating cash conversion rate5 was 123 per cent (2019: 105 per cent) due to working capital management. With no dividend payment for the financial year 2019 in 2020, RTL Group had net cash6 of €236 million at the end of 2020 (end of 2019: net debt of €(384) million).
RTL Group’s Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of €3.00 per share for 2020 of which €2.50 represents ordinary dividend while the remaining €0.50 relates to the distribution of cash capital gains.
Based on the average share price in 2020 (€33.857), the proposed dividend of €3.00 per share represents a dividend yield of 8.9 per cent.
“A year of unprecedented challenge and major achievements”
Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, says:
“2020 was a year of both unprecedented challenge and major achievements for RTL Group. We managed to strike the right balance between implementing cost and cash flow countermeasures, maintaining our market positions and investing in the future of our businesses, in particular in streaming and advertising technology. This is reflected in a net profit of €625 million, an operating cash conversion rate of more than 100 per cent, audience outperformance of our commercial competitors and rapid growth in numbers of paying subscribers for our streaming services.
Over the past six months, we sold non-core businesses, unlocking significant shareholder value. We continue to strengthen our portfolio with the full acquisitions of Super RTL in Germany and RTL Belgium. And we entered into new partnerships, for example with Deutsche Telekom to grow our streaming business in Germany and to cooperate in advertising technology, advertising sales and content. As stated on 29 January 2021, there is a strong case for consolidation in the European broadcasting industry. We are currently reviewing such options for our controlling stake in the French broadcaster Groupe M6, with a view to creating value for our shareholders. There can be no certainty that this may lead to any type of agreement or transaction.”