CME says 1Q09 was ‘toughest ever’

CME’s revenues tumbled 37% in the first three months of 2009. The central and eastern European broadcast group recorded a US$81.8m (€61.9m) write-down relating to its Bulgarian operations. The company posted revenues of US$141.2m and a US$44.4m net loss was recorded, compared to a US$14m net profit in the same period last year.

Adrian Sarbu, CME’s president and CEO, said that the first quarter was the hardest ever for the company, which has in the past fought a long legal battle with the Czech authorities. “The first quarter of 2009 was the toughest in our history across all markets,” Sarbu said. “Our main priority for the quarter, liquidity, was successfully addressed. Time Warner agreed to invest US$241.5m in CME. I see this as a sign of confidence in our markets, people and strategy for the future.”

By country, losses increased in Croatia and Ukraine, which saw the biggest individual loss. Profits were down across the board, but the Czech Republic and Romania remain CME’s best earners, recording EBITDA profit of US$24.8m and US$7.1m respectively.