Pan-European broadcaster RTL Group has raised its stake in private Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 to 16% in a bid to expand in southern Europe.

RTL paid $134m for an additional 6.23% stake in Antena 3. The move is expected to bring the group closer to Antena 3's other key shareholder, Spanish telecoms group Telefonica .

Reporting results for the six months to the end of June, RTL beat forecasts with pre-tax earnings up 46% to $274m. The rise came after a string of hit TV shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' Overall TV broadcasting revenues rose 22% to $1.2 billion.

The group was created this year through the merger of the TV arms of Germany's Bertelsmann , Belgium's Audiofina and the UK's Pearson.