Profit rises 28%

PRAGUE — Ron Lauder’s broadcasting group Central European Media Enterprises released its best full-year earnings report Thursday, crediting strong growth in its core TV stations, rapid expansion and a boom in Russian advertising.

Net income jumped 28% to $135.9 million in 2007 while operating income swelled by 27% to $472 million. Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2007 alone increased 45% to $59.6 million, with operating income bumping from $117.9 million to $161.7 million.

CME topper Michael Garin called the company — which owns stations in six Central and Eastern European countries reaching some 90 million people — “one of the fastest-growing multinational broadcasters in the world.” What’s more, he added, CME plans to double revenues again in the next five years.

Earnings factored in the performance of Slovakia property Markiza, which was consolidated in January 2006.

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