Russia's CTC Media Reports Declining Profits

The broadcaster attributed the decline to general poor economic conditions in Russia.

CTC Media, Russia's sole publicly-traded broadcaster, partially owned by Sweden's Modern Times Group, has announced financial results for 2014, which showed a substantial decline in net profits.

In 2014, net profits of CTC Media, which operates the Russian television channels CTC, CTC Love, Domashny and Perets, as well as Channel 31 in Kazakhstan, declined by 29 percent in US dollar terms, to $108.1 million, year-on-year.

The broadcaster's operating revenue fell by 15 percent to $711.4 million, while OIBDA was down by 26 percent from the 2013 figure to $177.1 million.

Yuliana Slashcheva, CTC Media's general director, attributed the poor earnings to the overall economic downturn in Russia, saying that under those conditions, the broadcaster still did well.

"In the second half of 2014, we also felt the impact of the embargo on some foreign foods, introduced by the Russian government, which triggered some foreign companies to step down their advertising activities in Russia, including CTC Media channels," she said in a press release. "In the fourth quarter, we witnessed a general substantial downsizing of the ad market."

According to Slashcheva, CTC Media is currently implementing cost-cutting strategies.

"We expect a decline in spending on content thanks to optimizing acquisitions and, potentially, a higher share of Russian content," she said.

CTC Media saw its stock plummet last fall when Russia adopted a law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media companies to 20 percent stakes as of 2016.

Sweden's Modern Times Group, which owns a 39-percent stake in CTC Media, said it was willing to retain an allowed 20-stake in the company. Recently, MTG denied a Russian media report that the group is looking for a buyer for its entire stake in CTC Media.