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CTC delivers buoyant figures

Net income for third quarter up 46%

MOSCOW — Russia’s leading commercial broadcaster CTC Media Thursday reported buoyant third quarter figures, despite an increasingly bleak economic outlook.

Consolidated revenues were up by a healthy 52% to $143.3 million in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago and the first nine months of 2008 showed a 46% increase to $452.8 million.

Net income for the two periods were up 20.5% ($21 million) for the third quarter and up 46% ($111.5 million) for the first nine months of the year compared with respected periods last year.

Anton Kudryashov, CTC Media’s CEO, who took over this year from long-time channel head Alexander Rodnyanksy (who remains on the board), attributed the healthy figures to top class content and strong advertising growth.

“We are extremely pleased with our financial results for the third quarter of 2008, which exemplify CTC’s Media’s continued success. Our advertising revenues increased by 54.8% (in the period),” Kudryashov said in a statement.

He added that the fall TV season had got off to a strong start with audience share for flagship CTC channel’s target demographic of 6-54 was 13.4% weekdays and 11.8% weekends during September.

“This success is mainly attributed to the launch of sequels of several proven shows, many of which are CTC Media in-house productions. These include ‘Ranetki’ and ‘Daddy’s Girls,’ both primetime shows that have proven to be extremely successful with our target audience.

“ ‘Daddy’s Girls’ ratings were exceptionally impressive in September, with the sitcom’s average audience share in CTC’s target demographic on weekdays delivering a 22.8%,” Kudryashov added.

CTC Media had also been expanding outside of Russia with acquisitions of Channel 31 in Kazakhstan, which went on air in March this year and had already moved to number two spot in that country. Earlier this month, CTC Media acquired a 51% interest in Moldova broadcasting group Teledixi SRL and Muzic Ramil SRL $4.1 million in cash. Moldova was, Kudryashov said, “a country with a developing economy and great potential for future growth in its TV and advertising market.”

Although the company was reporting favorable results, Kudryashov cautioned that it was “concerned about the current unfavorable macroeconomic outlook in Russia and the potentially negative consequences that outlook may have on the advertising market.”

He warned that forecasts for advertising revenues in Russia in 2009 were likely to be “revised downward,” but added that the company felt it was “well positioned to withstand challenging market conditions and as the visibility for the next year improves we will adjust our strategy, operations and costs accordingly.”