Group writes red numbers: ProSiebenSat.1 break away from advertising revenues

Because of the exit restrictions, more viewers are sitting in front of the TV sets than usual, but the advertisers are advertising fewer spots. As a consequence, Group sales fell 25 percent in the second quarter. CEO Beaujean is now hoping for the second half of the year.

ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Rainer Beaujean cannot take his optimism away from a drop in TV advertising revenues in the corona crisis and red numbers in the second quarter. "From our point of view, the picture has brightened considerably," he said, referring to the bookings for July and August. The signs of an economic recovery are increasing. While advertising revenues in the second quarter were still 37 percent below the previous year, the minus in July fell to just under 20 percent, and a decrease of only ten percent is in sight for August. The share plummeted 11.7 percent to EUR 8.50.

ProSiebenSat1 8.70

Citi's analysts pointed out that competitors in Europe anticipated a stronger recovery in advertising revenue. "For the months after that, our view of the crystal ball is still very unclear," said Beaujean. However, the deficit from the first half of the year will not be made up for by the end of the year, even if ProSiebenSat.1 generated around half of its operating profit between September and December in normal years. The lack of advertising revenue drove the chain around the channels ProSieben, Sat.1 and Kabel 1 from April to June with an adjusted net loss of 52 (2019: plus 85) million euros in the red.

From today's perspective, job cuts are not necessary

After six months there is a small plus. Sales slumped by a quarter in the second quarter to EUR 709 million. In particular, the travel and automotive industries as well as the catering trade were largely absent as advertisers, although more viewers than usual were sitting in front of the television set because of the exit restrictions. Television productions by the ProSieben subsidiary RedArrow had to be postponed due to the distance rules. With short-time work for up to 2000 employees and a reduction of the program costs by 100 million euros compared to the plans for 2020, ProSiebenSat.1 is fighting against the losses.

"We continue to focus on our consistent cost and cash management and are more optimistic about autumn," said Beaujean. From today's perspective, job cuts are not necessary. Increases in the NuCom online division could not nearly make up for the loss of sales and profits at the broadcasting group.

Acquaintance portals like Parship and the perfume dealer Flaconi increased, but shopping and experience portals collapsed. The operating result (adjusted Ebitda) shrank from April to June to 23 (previous year: 213) million euros. Beaujean emphasized that ProSiebenSat.1 does not want to part with the remaining shares in NuCom, in which the financial investor General Atlantic also has a stake – at least from individual companies: "NuCom is not for sale as a whole."

. (tagsToTranslate) Economy (t) ProSiebenSat1 (t) Economy (t) TV (t) Advertising