CTC earnings up 56% in '06


LONDON -- One of Russia's leading commercial television channels, CTC, saw strong growth last year with 2006 earnings up more than 56% to $370 million, according to figures released Tuesday in Moscow.

CTC Media -- the channel's NASDAQ-listed operating company -- reported a 56.2% year-to-year jump in operating revenue to $370.8 million compared with $237.4 million in 2005.

Earnings before depreciation and amortization for the year grew 67.1% to $174 million, with net income of $106.3 million representing an 85% increase from 2005.

CTC -- which went public last year -- said its fully diluted earnings per share at $0.69 were up 86.5% from the previous year.

Company CEO Alexander Rodnyansky said that CTC and its sister daytime channel Domashny had achieved an audience share of 11.8% across Russia in 2006.

Domashny -- which some industry observers in Russia have criticized in the past for poor ratings -- turned a profit for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2006, less than two years after its launch.

Rodnyansky said in a statement that the results proved the company had substantially achieved all of its operating and financial goals for 2006.

"We posted significant increases in our revenues and cash flows and maintained our position as one of Russia's leading commercial broadcasters," Rodnyansky said. "As a result of our successful IPO in 2006 and our profitable business model, we have entered 2007 with a strong balance sheet, giving us the financial flexibility to implement our growth strategy."

CTC, which added three stations to its CTC Television Station Group and three to the Domashny Station Group in 2006, will continue to "pursue potential acquisitions" and planned to introduce "several exciting premieres" during the spring and fall.

"Overall, we believe we are well positioned to continue to outperform the growth in the Russian TV advertising market and increase the overall value of our assets," Rodnyansky said.