Five loses €10m as revenue falls 30% year on year

LONDON - Five, the UK broadcaster owned by German media owner RTL, has reported an operating loss of €10m (£9.1m) in 2009, down from an operating profit of €2m in 2008.

Five: suffers revenue drop
Five: suffers revenue drop

According to RTL's results, the Five family of channels made revenues of €303m during 2009, down 30% from €432m in 2008. When the revenue is measured in sterling the drop was 21%.

RTL reported that spot ad revenue at the Five family of channels, which includes Five US and Fiver, was down 23.6%, against a TV ad market that was down 12.5% year on year.

Five's operating EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation) was minus €10m, down from a positive figure of €2m for 2008. However, if a €22m programming writedown and €9m restructuring costs are included, Five's losses were €41m during 2009.

Five reduced its operating costs, excluding restructuring costs and write-downs, by £65m or 19% in 2009, mainly as a result of significant programme cost savings.

The full-year loss of €10m was an improvement on Five's first half EBITA figure of minus €19m.

In RTL's interim results in August, the value of Five was written down from €250m to €110m. RTL said the impairment reflected the worsening of both the advertising market and Five's share of the market.

Five's family of channels saw its net ad share fall to 8.4%, down from 9.6% in 2008.

The terrestrial channel's share of adult viewing was down slightly at 5%, a decrease of 0.1%, but the Five family of channels was up 0.1% with 6.3% of the audience.

FreemantleMedia, the producer of the 'X Factor' and the 'Idol' franchise, reported revenues of €1.2bn, down 1.7% year on year, and EBITA of €155m, equal to 2008.

Gerhard Zeiler, chief executive of RTL Group, said: "Although the revenue decline has slowed considerably since autumn 2009, we cannot expect a quick recovery of advertising revenues to previous levels.

"While we remain cautious, we will also continue to invest in promising business opportunities. These include on-demand services, digital pay channels to establish a second revenue stream, content production, and our broad range of diversification businesses."

Overall, RTL reported revenue of €5.4bn, down 6.3% year on year, and its pre-tax profits were €518m, down 1.9%.


Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).