RTL Group, Europe’s leading broadcaster and content provider, announces its pro forma preliminary results (unaudited) to 31 December 2000.

Financial Highlights

* Double digit revenue growth, up 14.3% to EUR 4,044 million (1999: EUR 3,539 million);

* EBITA up 29.4% to EUR 555 million (1999: EUR 429 million) driven by strong EBITA growth in TV (up 50.0%);

* EBITA, stripping out new media activities, up 38.0% to EUR 592 million;

* TV EBITA margin up to 14.3% (1999: 11.3%); radio EBITA margin up to 30.7% (1999: 25.2%);

* Full year dividend of EUR 0.85, up 13.3%.

Operational highlights

* Significant contribution of established TV operations: EBITA margin of RTL Television in Germany up to 17.2% from 14.0%; EBITA margin of M6 in France up to 25.3% from 20.6%;

* Improvement of newer TV broadcasters Channel 5, VOX, RTL Klub;

* Further consolidation of interests in RTL Television (100%), VOX (99.7%), M6 (43.8%), Holland Media Group HMG (100%), Channel 5 (64.6%) and Antena 3 (17.2%);

* Well-positioned for content growth: increased investments in new formats and programmes and acquisition of award-winning Talkback Productions;

* Success in new media: prudent investments, leveraging existing strengths to drive page impressions to 270 million per month (up 700%).

* RTL NEWMEDIA prepares entry to interactive TV.

Didier Bellens, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RTL Group, said: ‘RTL Group has had a successful year, especially in our key broadcasting businesses in Germany and France. We have grown our operations, controlled our costs and increased our margins, and we believe we are better placed than most of our competitors to withstand the current uncertainties in advertising markets around Europe.

Combined with the effects of restructuring Pearson Television North America and a decrease in the audience of RTL Radio in France, market conditions at present lead us to expect a comparatively flat earnings performance in 2001.

Nevertheless, we will continue to build brands and audiences and identify opportunities in new markets. We have further room to explore synergies, not only between content and broadcasting, but also between territories and between businesses, and we will continue to build our new media enterprises in support of our main activities. We are confident that our core businesses remain strong and well positioned for future growth.’

For more details contact:

RTL Group Finsbury – Tel: +44 (0) 20 7251 3801
Roy Addison – Tel: +44 (0) 20 7691 6830
Markus Payer – Tel: +352 421 425 130