CTC's 2nd-quarter income drops more than a third

MOSCOW — Russia’s leading independent television group CTC reported a drop in overall revenues of more than a third for the second quarter of 2009, although the company says its viewing figures are up.

CTC said total revenues were down 34% in US dollars to $113.9 million, although when measured in local currency, the ruble, the drop was 10%.

Advertising revenues were down for the year 12% in rubles, CTC said.

The company, which runs entertainment channel CTC, the women-oriented Domashny channel and other outlets, had taken an aggressive approach to operating expenses , trimming them 32% from the same period a year ago to $70.1 million. In rubles, costs were down 7% compared with the second quarter in 2008.

CTC said it maintained a strong market position despite the tough financial figures, with their combined 4+ audience share in Russia up to 13.4% from 12.6%. CTC became the most watched channel in Russia in prime time by viewers 25-54 for the first time, and the third most watched channel for the 6-54 demographic for the first time since 2006.

Anton Kudryashov, CTC Media’s CEO, said that although tough economic conditions had hit advertising spending hard, the company had continued to outperform its competitors.

“Our Russian advertising revenues, which account for over 90% of total revenues, were down 12% year-on-year in ruble terms in the second quarter, compared to an estimated 21% decline in the overall Russian television advertising market,” he said.

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