CTC sees revenue jump in Q2

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MOSCOW -- Russia's NASDAQ-listed television entertainment group CTC Media on Monday reported increased revenue of $112 million for the second quarter, a jump of 9% from the year-ago period.

The company, which operates Russia's fourth-most-watched national channel, entertainment network CTC, and its smaller sister channel Domashny, said the results represented a "difficult comparison" with the same period last year, when revenue jumped steeply thanks largely to the success of the hit sitcom "Born Not Pretty."

"The Russian television market remains robust, and CTC continues to build upon its brands and unique market position as we target the younger audiences coveted by advertisers," CTC Media CEO Alexander Rodnyansky said in a statement.

"In the second quarter we faced difficult comparisons from the year-ago period in which revenue increased 83% ... driven by the conclusion of our mega-hit 'Born Not Pretty' and a surge in spot advertising demand in advance of new advertising regulations," he added.

Noting a 6% dip in operating income during the second quarter, to $51.4 million, Rodnyansky pointed to an overall increase of 5% for the first six months of 2007, to $95.7 million. Overall operating revenue of $216.3 million for the first six months represented an increase of 19%.

At 8.9% in the second quarter, audience share was down both from the first quarter of this year (9.3%) and the second quarter of 2006, when it hit a quarterly peak of 11.7% on the back of 'Born Not Pretty' ratings. Despite this, Rodnyansky said the company is confident about the immediate future.

"While the third quarter is historically the smallest for ratings and revenue as a result of the summer season, we are optimistic about our innovative programming schedule for the coming fall season, which will feature our highly successful Russian series 'Cadets,' a Sci-Fi drama series 'Heroes' and original Russian shows based on formats such as 'American Idol' and 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" he said.
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