»It was a quarter of records«

In this interview, Rainer Beaujean, Chairman of the Executive Board, explains why ProSiebenSat.1 continues to look ahead optimistically after this third quarter.

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE continued its growth path in the third quarter of 2021: The Group achieved a significant revenue increase of 15% to EUR 1,055 million. These are the highest revenues in a third quarter in the company's history. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 9 percent to EUR 162 million. In an interview, Rainer Beaujean, Chairman of the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1, explains why the Group continues to look ahead optimistically.
Mr. Beaujean, how do you assess your third-quarter results? Is ProSiebenSat.1 still sensing the COVID-19 effects in the Group's results at all?

It was a quarter of records. After a revenue high in the second quarter, we again achieved record revenues in the third quarter. In the Entertainment segment, we not only outperformed our 2019 pre-corona level in advertising revenues in the region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland with an increase of 13 percent, we also generated the highest advertising revenues in the German-speaking region in a third quarter in our history. Our relevant key performance indicators such as adjusted operating free cash flow and P7S1 ROCE also improved significantly – and thus exactly the figures we have been focusing on as Executive Board since we took office. This shows that we are steering our business sustainably in the right direction. As a result of this very good development, we were again able to raise our targets for the full-year 2021. So, all signs point to growth for the future as well. 

In the Entertainment segment, you align your content with the maxim "live, local, relevant". What progress did you make along this path and is this also translating into advertising revenues?

ProSiebenSat.1 remains the clear number 1 in the TV market in the third quarter of 2021 – both in terms of viewers and advertising customers. Local content helps us maximize our reach and further improve monetization. The example of the German "ran SAT.1 Bundesliga" makes this very clear: Our soccer coverage goes far beyond pure TV broadcasting. With new formats such as "ran Bundesliga Flash", live streaming on Joyn and the ran/SAT.1 apps and websites, we have established new sports environments that we are marketing successfully. We are therefore using our entire entertainment ecosystem to delight our viewers – and at the same time to create attractive advertising environments. In addition, the market outlook for 2022 makes us optimistic: The overall advertising market is expected to grow further by 5 percent compared to 2021. We will use this to our advantage, after all, TV is still the number 1 medium in Germany, and we are the clear market leader.

How do you assess the development in the Dating and Commerce & Ventures segment?

Here, too, we see how much our broad Group positioning is paying off: Our Dating segment continues to benefit from the first-time consolidation of The Meet Group, with a revenue increase of 53 percent. Commerce & Ventures is growing strongly organically by 15 percent, driven by all areas of the segment. In addition, we closed or extended four deals in the third quarter with young digital growth companies that we support with our entertainment reach and media services. That is how we build brands; we create added value through the synergies between our businesses. In the same way, disposals such as that of Amorelie are part of our strategy when we can no longer contribute substantially to the next stage of the company's development, but instead can realize profit for our company. The important thing is that we focus on investments that can be developed in a powerful way and in conjunction with the entertainment business.