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CME sees positive results for 2000

Revs up 3% to $114 million

PRAGUE — Following a year of budget trimming and growing advertising, CME announced improved results for 2000.

CME, which now operates five stations in Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine, increased revenues 3% to $114 million.

Prexy-CEO Fred Klinkhammer stressed positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $13 million, compared with 1999’s $4 million loss.

The purchase of a second Slovenian station, Kanal A, contributed to revenue growth, with Klinkhammer remarking on Slovenia’s booming advertising market.

“Our most significant achievement during 2000 was the reduction in operating expenses,” Klinkhammer said. Those were cut by 12%, or $13 million. CME corporate achieved a 39% decrease in costs, or $7 million, he added.

Station operating costs were down 44%, to $78 million, due largely to the cessation of broadcasting of CME’s Czech station. Operating costs at Pro TV in Romania and Pop TV in Slovenia were also down.

In earlier years, Nova TV in the Czech Republic covered losses incurred by other operations; now all CME stations have positive EBITDA and broadcast cash flow.

“CME and our partners view the 2000 results as the product of a challenging, successful year and as the foundation for CME’s future stability and growth,” Klinkhammer said.

CME has indicated that after several years of consolidation, it is shifting back to expansion, with an eye to station bids in the Balkans.

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