CME tunes in TV gains

Revenues reach $23.5 million

PRAGUE — Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has once again posted impressive gains for its TV stations group in Central Europe, with first-quarter 2003 results up 36% over the same period last year.

Net revenues reached $23.5 million, with operating costs at $17.5 million. EBITDA was at $26.8 million, an increase of 27%, falling to 15% in real terms when adjusted for foreign exchange gains.

Robert Burke, recently upped to president as well as chief operating officer, and CEO-vice chairman Fred Klinkhammer singled out Romania for improved operations; CME increased its share there in station licenses. CME also has TV stations in Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine.

CME is now awaiting what should be the final step in its arbitration case against the Czech Republic over the loss of its investment in Nova TV. At stake is $355 million that has been deposited in an escrow account by the Czech Republic. A final appeal is to be decided mid-month.

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