FremantleMedia’s aggressive move into high-end drama has paid off after it helped parent company RTL Group book record profits.

The producer and distributor, which produces series such as HBO’s The Young Pope, Starz’ American Gods and period drama Deutschland 83, bolstered operating profits by 8.5% to $174M for its full year financials, although revenue was down 2% to $1.8B as a result of currency fluctuations.

This comes after it found success with German historical drama Charite and its Danish production company Miso Film scored a Netflix ordered for Nordic noir series The Rain. Coming up, the company is relaunching American Idol on ABC on March 11 and has high hopes for dramas including Australian series Picnic at Hanging Rock and HBO’s My Brilliant Friend.

These numbers helped the group book increased revenues of 2.2% to $8B with operating profit growing 3.8% to $1.8B. RTL pointed out strong digital growth and a healthy business at its German TV division. However, its broadcast businesses in Holland, Belgium and France took a hit.

“In 2017, we continued to diversify our creative pipeline, with a bold and ambitious scripted strategy. Producing innovative and scalable programming, maintaining the highest production values and partnering with the best creatives in the business remained a priority, and has allowed us to deliver strong profit growth in a highly competitive market,” said FremantleMedia CEO Cecil Frot-Coutaz.

Bert Habets, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, added that FremantleMedia will continue its push into high-end drama production with even more focus on the global streaming platforms.

“This set of strong results shows that we are in an excellent position to write the next chapter in RTL Group’s success story. To succeed in this mission, we have to go back to our roots, to re-invigorate RTL’s pioneering spirit – one of taking calculated risks, putting consumers first to maximise the time they spend with our content and sharing best practices and business opportunities across our Group,” he said.