Bertelsmann-owned pan-European broadcasting unit RTL Group issued a trading statement Tuesday in which it sees little cheer on the advertising front and continuing lack of visibility through 2003.

Despite a relative strong end to the year in its German markets, and an upbeat performance from its UK TV unit, RTL does not expect to report a sustained recovery over the next few months.

The sole silver lining to RTL’s cloud during 2002, says ceo Didier Bellens, is Britain's Five, praised for increasing both audience share (up from 5.9% in 2001 to 6.5%) and its slice of the advertising pie (+ 1.1% over the year to 7.5%).

Five years on from its launch in 1997 Five is now in sight of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization) break-even.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff