CTC Media Reports Increase in Profits and Revenue in First Quarter

Russia's leading independent media company speaks optimistically of the good performance continuing through the year's end.

MOSCOW -- CTC Media, Russia’s leading independent media company, has reported an increase in revenues and consolidated net income in this year’s first quarter, compared with the corresponding period of last year.

The company, which runs the Russian television channels CTC, Domashny and Perets, as well as TV assets in Kazakhstan and Moldova, reported a 19 percent increase in revenues in rouble terms to $191.1 million (a 15 percent increase in dollar terms) and a raise in consolidated net income from $23.7 million to $33.6 million in January through March, compared with the same period of 2011. OIBDA was up 38 percent year-on-year with an increased margin of 28.8 percent in the first quarter.

The company explained the sharp increase by the improved performance of the stations Domashny and Perets, which allowed CTC Media to grow more than the market.

“The Russian TV advertising market is estimated to have grown by up to 10 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, so we clearly [increased our] market share following substantial year-on-year increases in the ratings for our Domashny and Perets Networks, which recorded all-time high target audience shares,” Boris Podolsky, CTC Media’s Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement. “In addition, we benefited from rising prices in the period. We also generated substantially higher sub-licensing and own production revenues due to the sale of successful CTC channel premiere shows to broadcasters in Ukraine.”

The company said it continues to invest in in-house content production, programming acquisition. It paid out a quarterly cash dividend of $20.6 million in the first quarter and intends to pay out further dividends of the same amount in each of the remaining quarters of 2012.

CTC Media said it hopes that 2012 will be more successful than last year. “Our Russian channels are now approximately 85 percent sold out for 2012 at higher average prices than last year,” Podolsky said. “We will continue to invest and do therefore continue to expect the OIBDA margin for the full year to be lower than the adjusted level for 2011.”

In 2011, the company’s profits declined and so did the audience shares of its channels.