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Pearson purchase hits RTL earnings

LONDON - RTL Group, Europe's largest broadcaster, has managed to record a slight increase in advertising revenue share over the first half of the year.

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However, earnings were down on the same period for last year, with the group reporting an Ebidta of €235m (£148.4m), down by 27%.

RTL has reported turnover increasing from €1.9bn (£1.2bn) to €2bn (£1.3bn), and says it has gained audience and ad revenue share in most markets.

But the results are tempered by a one-off loss of €2.3bn (£1.5bn) over the purchase of FreemantleMedia, Pearson's television unit.

The results have caused RTL, which also produces shows such as The Price Is Right, to postpone an equity issue. Didier Bellens, CEO of RTL, said this was because of "low forward visibility in the advertising markets".

While TV revenues were up by 3%, radio fell by 20.3% to €98m (£61.9m).

RTL has interests in 23 TV channels and 17 radio stations in 11 countries. It was formed when Bertelsmann and Audiofina merged their jointly owned broadcaster CLT-UFA with the TV unit of Pearson last year.

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