»We are on the right track with our strategy.«

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE remains on track in the first quarter of 2022: Rainer Beaujean, Group CEO of ProSiebenSat.1, puts the developments into context in this interview.

May 2022. ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE remains on track in the first quarter of 2022: The Group's results are in line with its expectations despite the current economic challenges. Rainer Beaujean, Group CEO of ProSie-benSat.1, puts the developments into context in this interview.
Mr. Beaujean, your strategy focuses on reach, monetization, and value creation. How did this prove in the first quarter?

Our strategy, in which reach and monetization are closely linked, has again proved to be crisis-proof this quarter. We are on the right track: For example, our programming strategy with its focus on local, relevant, and live content was also successful in the first quarter. We continue to lead the German audience market. Our hit format "Germany's Next Topmodel" had its highest market shares in prime time in 14 years, and the show "The Masked Singer" also scored ratings of over 20%. But entertainment is not the only thing we can do: Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, we have changed our programming several times and pro-vided information in special broadcasts during prime time. From 2023, we will also produce news ourselves and focus even more on topicality and information diversity on all platforms. By monetizing this strong reach – for example through advertising or our Commerce & Ventures business – we create value for our share-holders. Just last week, we proved this with our dividend proposal of 80 cents per share, which was ap-proved by the Annual General Meeting.

How is this strategy reflected in your key financial figures?

Although the macroeconomic uncertainties caused by the war and the ongoing pandemic are affecting our market environment, our Group revenues grew by 2% to EUR 954 million, and we have continued to con-sistently strengthen our cash flow and reduce our debt. In terms of adjusted EBITDA, we see a decrease of EUR 19 million to EUR 123 million. This is also something we expected and announced, as we brought forward programming expenses to the first quarter due to the World Soccer Championship, which will be aired by the public stations at the end of the year. As a result, these costs increased by EUR 16 million compared with the previous-year period. For the full-year, however, we expect Entertainment programming expenses to be at the level of the previous year. In addition, there is the effect of the disposal of the film distribution company Gravitas Ventures, which contributed EUR 6 million to adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of the previous year.

The macroeconomic situation remains uncertain. What does this mean for the rest of the year?

The first quarter was absolutely in line with our expectations. Due to our business model, we are also well positioned for the future and we confirm our full-year outlook – despite the Russia-Ukraine war, the ongoing pandemic, and burdens on the consumer climate. We therefore continue to aim for revenues – without portfolio changes – of around EUR 4.6 billion in 2022 with a variance of plus/minus EUR 100 million. Ad-justed EBITDA is expected to be around EUR 840 million with a variance of plus/minus EUR 25 million – still mainly supported by the Entertainment segment and dependent on the development of advertising revenues. In the first four months of the year, our Entertainment advertising revenues in the German-speak-ing region were around 7% above the previous year’s level.