Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 has seen its financial picture stabilizing as the local TV advertising market began to show signs of recovery.
The commercial TV giant, which has faced a tough 2023, posted third quarter revenue of €888M and adjusted EBITDA of €110M. This was very close to the €911M and €108M recorded in the same period a year ago.
ProSieben noted the TV ad market had once again declined in German-speaking regions of Europe, but “to a lesser extent than in the first half of the year.” Europe’s major commercial networks have been banking on an ad market towards the end of this year and shareholders increasingly spooked by a lack of movement, so the news will be welcomed.
Digital once again helped ProSieben’s bottom line, with streamer Joyn posting AVoD advertising revenues up 58%, while overall digital and smart advertising revenues were up 16%. Combined with good numbers in the Commerce & Ventures division, almost all TV ad market declines were offset. However, group revenues are still down 11% across the first nine months of the year, at €2.57B.
The Entertainment segment— which houses the TV channels, Joyn and its production and program sales assets — delivered €598M in Q3, down from €621M a year ago. The 5% decline in the TV ad market was “significantly lower” than in H1 2023, but overall the division decreased by 3%. ProSieben noted the sale of its U.S. production assets to The North Road Company “had an impact,” without which organic revenues would have fallen 10% year-on-year.
The numbers come after a tough year for The Voice of Germany broadcaster ProSieben, which was forced to lay out hundreds of staff and reorganized its management structure in the face of the ad market downturn. Just as the U.S. networks have been forced to rein in spending where they can, Europe’s big dogs have also been making choices to cut costs and speed up their realignment as digital-first companies. For ProSiebenSat.1, that has meant placing Joyn at the center of its German-speaking Europe strategy and broadly moving out of productions outside of Germany, as revenues and earnings have plunged.
“We have taken the challenges in the market as an opportunity to realign our Group in terms of both personnel and organizational,” said ProSiebenSat.1 Group CEO Bert Habets. “In doing so, we are setting the course to expand our digital business areas more strongly. At the same time, we have now successfully implemented the cost efficiency program that we initiated at the beginning of the year.”
He added the cost-cutting initiative “applies above all to the Entertainment segment,” and added the company would “fully realize the savings from our efficiency program in the fourth quarter respectively in 2024.”