RTL, the pan-European broadcast giant, has issued its fourth profit warning of the year.
It said that in the current year advertising revenues will show a drop averaging 10% and that its own earnings will fall by 35%-40%, from the EBIT figure of Euros 55m it recorded last year.
"Advertising markets across Europe have continued to deteriorate since our results announcement in September. We now expect that the television advertising market as a whole in Germany, France and the UK will be down, year-on- year, by up to 10%," said Didier Bellens, RTL's chief executive. In the new year advertising will also remain weak.
In addition to the earnings drop it is likely to incur restructuring costs of Euros 40m and investments in new businesses of Euros 28m. The company said it was are also "reviewing options for [its] Polish operations."
Despite the gloom RTL said that it was in a stronger position than its rivals thanks to a recent review of operations and a pan-European approach. Many of its channels including those in Germany (RTL), France (M6) and the UK (Channel 5) have increased their market share.
RTL, which is 67% owned by Bertelsmann, 22% by Pearson, saw its shares unchanged at Euros 38.5.