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FremantleMedia profits slip in 2009

FremantleMedia’s half-year profits have slipped with the company blaming ‘general pressure on margins’ and lower production volumes for a key show. The company, which is owned by pan-European broadcast group RTL, reported half-year EBITA profit of €87 million (US$124.5 million) compared with €90 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue was up however, at €570 million compared with €567 million a year earlier.

Reporting group-wide interim results, RTL said that FremantleMedia continues to produce top rated programming in the US, UK, Germany, Australia and France and cited the Got Talent and Idols formats as particular successes.

It blamed the profit decline on general pressure to reduce costs and specifically, reduced volume for UK police series The Bill, which broadcaster ITV now runs as a weekly show instead of stripping it through the week.

Meanwhile, RTL said that its main channels have increased ratings despite deep programming cost cuts. There have been double-digit cost cuts at RTL’s operation in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK.