Russia's CTC Media Lowers Revenue Growth Forecast

Revenue growth is expected to be 9%-11% in 2011, down from 20%.

MOSCOW-- CTC Media, Russia’s leading independent media company, said it is lowering its forecast for revenue growth for this year, based on the third quarter figures and the market situation.

According to Anton Kudryashov, CEO of CTC Media, the company expects like-for-like total operating revenue growth this year to be 9 percent - 11 percent, reaching 29.4 billion roubles - 30 billion roubles ($963 million to $982 million), year-on-year.

“We are now approximately 95 percent sold-out for the full year, but the growth outlook for the advertising market in the near to mid-term has become more volatile and we are seeing signs of a slowdown in advertiser demand and a risk of some unsold inventory in the fourth quarter,” Kudryashov said in a statement.

Back in September, CTC Media, which operates the Russian television channels CTC, Domashny and Perets (formerly DTV), as well as TV assets in Kazakhstan and Moldova, already lowered its revenue growth forecasts for the entire year from 20 percent to 15 percent.

In the third quarter of 2011, the total operating revenues of CTC Media stood at $159.6 million, a 27 percent increase from the corresponding period of last year. The net income was $29.9 million, 23 percent up, year on year. Meanwhile, the group’s flagship channel, CTC, reported an only two-percent growth in revenues for July through September.

In the first three quarters of 2011, the total operating revenues of CTC Media went up 40 percent to $529.6 million, while net income increased by 29 percent to $91.1 million, year-on-year.

In 2010, the company’s total operating revenues were up 19 percent to $601 million, year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Kudryashov may not stay with CTC Media for long. As of January 2012, he could be appointed general director of the major mobile phone operator Vympelkom, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported.