CME’s core business not for sale, says CEO

Christoph Mainusch

Christoph Mainusch

The sale of any of CME’s core assets is “not on our agenda” according to company co-CEO Christoph Mainusch.

In an interview with Czech newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes, Mainusch said that despite sale speculation from last year, neither the overall business nor its main channels were on the block.

However, he added that the disposition of CME’s non-broadcast assets was still ongoing: “We sold [distribution company] Bontonfilm in the Czech Republic last year. We have already disposed and are still in the process of selling several of our non-core activities in Romania.”

Asked whether CME would consider in investing in new channels, Mainusch said: “We constantly analyse the structure of our channels’ portfolio and the positioning of the individual channels in their respective market environment.

“This might lead to further channel launches in the future. It is, however, too early for any announcement in that respect as no final decision has been made yet. First we will continue to invest primarily in high quality content within the group of our existing channels.”

Praising CME’s recent performance, which has seen it move back into the black, Mainusch said: “The last year has been a very successful one. We managed to increase our advertising market share from 49%in 2013 to 60% in 2014 and we returned to significant operating income.”

However, he cautioned that “the turnaround will need more than one year,” predicting that the advertising market will continue to grow year-on-year and that CME will “regain some additional advertising market share we lost two years ago.”

Christoph Mainusch has served as co-CEO of CME, alongside Michael Del Nin, since September 2013.

Last year, the firm dismissed recent reports that investment group PPF is in talks to buy the company or its flagship Czech channel TV Nova. In an interview with Czech business newspaper Hospodářské noviny, Del Nin said the company sale speculation was “completely untrue,” and described TV Nova as “the heart of this company.”