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Analysts bullish on CME after Time Warner bailout

CME logoAnalysts have said the outlook is positive for central and eastern Europe-focused broadcast group CME in the wake of its recent refinancing by Time Warner.

Citing ‘further support’ from 49% shareholder Time Warner, credit analyst Moody’s said: “The stable outlook reflects early signs of turnaround in CME’s operating performance with a return to adequate advertising market share, commensurate with the company’s leading audience share position in most of its markets.”

Moody’s added that the outlook for CME has been improved by the wide-ranging cost cuts implemented by the new management team of Christoph Mainusch and Michael Del Nin (pictured), who replaced Adrian Sarbu last year, and the positive view also assumes further support from Time Warner.

Earlier this month Time Warner committed to a series of complex refinancing and loan deals for CME worth an estimated US$573 million in total. Analysts had warned late last year that CME faced defaulting on debt payments unless it received the financial backing. That was then forthcoming from Time Warner, which has been taking greater control.

In its latest results, the broadcast group reported net revenues of US$140.1 million, up 7% compared year-on-year. However, the firm made a net loss of US$52.5 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of US$23.3 million in the same period last year. The loss across the first nine months of the year was reduced year-on-year, taking the total to US$153.6 million.