Russia’s CTC profits up fivefold

Advertising revenue hit but prices set to rise

Russia’s top commercial broadcaster CTC Media has weathered the recessionary storm and appears in good shape as it sails forward.

Net profits last year stood at $100.4 million, five times higher than the $22.5 million earned in 2008. However, revenues were down 20.1% at $506.1 million, hit by the weaker advertising market and the falling value of the ruble.

CEO Anton Kudryashov said CTC is selling air time at last year’s prices, but he expects advertising prices to improve later in the year.

Highlights last year included a slight increase in audience share from 13% to 13.2%, the acquisition of eight regional stations in six Russian cities and the launch of CTC’s international channel in North America.

Net profit for the fourth quarter stood at $20.9 million against $89 million loss a year before, although the 2008 results had included write downs in the value of programming assets. Revenue fell to $180.5 million in last three months of 2009 from $187.3 million in the same period in 2008.

The company runs three free-to-air television networks in Russia, CTC, Domashny and DTV, Channel 31 in Kazakhstan and channels in Uzbekistan and Moldova, and also owns TV production companies Costafilm and Soho Media.

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