Overall Assessment of the Business Performance - Management View
The German economy grew again in 2014, with private consumption developing particularly well. This encouraged the advertising industry to invest and stimulated our revenue growth in the core business of TV. We remain the market leader in Germany, reaching 28.7 % of viewers aged between 14 and 49. TV benefited from both the positive economic data and advancing digitalization: Television increased its relevance as the most important mass medium in Germany and expanded its advance over other traditional media. At the same time, the market data for our digital portfolio developed very positively: The in-stream advertising, video-on-demand and digital commerce industries grew at double-digit rates. In this market environment, we closed 2014 again with record figures. We have simultaneously used the favorable capital market conditions and restructured our Group financing.
For the most part, we exceeded our financial and non-financial targets. In the 2014 financial year, Group revenues climbed by 10.4 % to EUR 2.876 billion and where therby above the originally forecasted growth. The Company also grew successfully with regard to the medium-term revenue targets: We already achieved our target for 2015 by the end of 2014, and our revenue target from 2012 until 2018 is already 51.9 % realized. All segments contributed to this.
We continue our course of growth and have even set an important direction in terms of strategy in 2014: We expanded our e-commerce portfolio and are growing particularly dynamically in the travel vertical. High organic growth was also seen in digital entertainment, where, alongside the online advertising business, the video-on-demand portal maxdome’s growth was especially significant. We are also growing organically in the Content Production & Global Sales segment in addition to having strengthened our presence in the key English-speaking markets by acquiring Half Yard Productions.
As of December 31, 2014, the Group is in a sound financial position with an equity ratio of 19.3 % and has an efficient financial structure with a leverage factor of 1.8. Through the placement of notes and the new facilities agreement, the Group has recently further optimized its financing and placed it on a broader basis at attractive conditions.
At the time the Group management report was compiled, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group is characterized by overall very good earnings, financial position and performance. This positive annual record and the good start into the 2015 financial year confirm our strategy: We are continuing to develop ProSiebenSat.1 from a traditional TV provider into a Broadcasting, Digital Entertainment and Commerce Powerhouse.