CME Revenues down 33%

By FNE Staff
    Central European Media Enterprises (CME, www.cetv-net.com). which trades on NASDAQ and thePrague Stock Exchange as CETV, reported third quarter earnings of $134.5 million, down $40.6 million from third quarter 2008.

    The decline resulted in a loss of $33.5 million for the regional media giant.

    Year to date losses were worse: a drop of 37%, for net revenues of $461.9 million for the first nine months.

    In a statement, CME President and Chief Executive Officer Adrian Sarbu said, "This is the fourth quarter of decline in our advertising markets. TV ad spending reset 30% lower than in 2008. We believe the markets have reached the bottom. This is a new starting point. The macroeconomic prospects for 2010 have improved and we expect advertising spending to follow. Our priority for 2010 is to convert our high audience and market share into higher revenues while managing costs rigorously. We believe in our ability to outperform the markets."

    The heaviest losses came from the Ukraine, with stations in the Czech Republic and Romania also showing steep declines. Slovenia, Slovakia, and Croatia all showed drops of around 20%, while CME's new operations in Bulgaria were the only area of growth.

    Stock price was down slightly, closing at $25.91 on October 26 with volume running close to the average for the year.The 52-week high of $38.61 was set on September 18. The 52-week low of $4.57 was set on March 3.

    CME operates networks in seven Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria (PRO.BG and RING.BG), Croatia (Nova TV), Czech Republic (TV Nova, Nova Cinema and Nova Sport), Romania (PRO TV, PRO TV International, Acasa, PRO Cinema, Sport.ro and MTV Romania), Slovakia (TV Markíza and Doma), Slovenia (POP TV, Kanal A and TV Pika) and Ukraine (Studio 1+1, Studio 1+1 International and Kino).