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CME revenues and profits slide as advertising woes continue

 CME’s revenue and profit decreased sharply in the nine months to end-September as the company felt the effects of four consecutive quarters of shrinkage in the advertising market. Adrian Sarbu, CEO of the central and eastern European broadcast group, said that after a tough period the ad markets in its territories have bottomed out.

“We believe the markets have reached the bottom,” Sarbu said. “This is a new starting point. The macroeconomic prospects for 2010 have improved and we expect advertising spend to follow. Our priority for 2010 is to convert our high audience share and market share into higher revenues while managing costs rigorously.”

CME posted revenues of US$461.9m (€310m) in the year to end-September, a 37% year-on-year decline. EBITDA profit was down 86% year-on-year at US$30.8m. The company reported an operating loss of US$106.2m compared with an operating profit of US$151.4m in the corresponding period a year earlier. The revenue decline was less sharp in the latest quarter, down 33%, taking the total to US$134.5m.

The company has cut programming and overall operating costs. Programming spend to September was US$259.1m compared with US$307.2m in the first three quarters of last year. The Czech Republic and Romania remain CME’s biggest earners.