CME reports 6% tumble in net revs in 1st quarter

Cash flow falls more than 80% due to Russian slowdown

PRAGUE — Central European Media Enterprises’ (CME) first-quarter results show a 6% drop in net revenues from its TV stations to $45.2 million, with cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) falling more than 80% to $900,000.

CEO Fred Klinkhammer blamed “the impact of the Russian-related slowdown across our region which has been greater than we originally anticipated.” Company operating loss increased 8% to $13 million.

Net losses were posted at Ukranian station Studio 1+1 and Markiza TV in Slovakia. Only POP-TV in Slovenia showed a significant gain.

Nova TV in the Czech Republic, PRO-TV in Romania and TV3 in Hungary held stable. Station expenses rose around 20% to $34 million.

Less than two months ago, SBS announced a $615 million acquisition merger with CME, the largest broadcaster in Eastern Europe, which would create one of the top three broadcasting companies in the whole of Europe.

At Nova, which still accounts for over half of CME’s consolidated net revenues, the company recently dismissed station manager Vladimir Zelezny.

An ongoing dispute over the legal status of Nova and countering lawsuits for financial claims have stalled negotiations between CME and Zelezny, who owns a 60% controlling interest in the station license.