Russia's CTC Reports Healthy Quarterly Results Despite Plunging Ruble

Local currency lost 15% of its value against the dollar in period, commercial TV net says

Russia's top commercial TV network, CTC Media Wednesday reported healthy third quarter results despite this year's sharp drop in the value of the ruble against foreign currencies.

Pre-tax profits were up nine percent year on year in ruble terms to $50 million with turnover up three percent for the same period, to $158 million, the company said in a statement.

Advertising revenue increased by four percent compared with the same period last year and the advertising inventory for the media group's Russian stations was completely sold out for the third quarter.

Yuliana Slashcheva, the group's CEO, noted ruble devaluation against the dollar, which lost 15 percent against the dollar in the third quarter alone and overall is down 17 percent year on year. She said it had "significantly affected third-quarter performance."

Ruble devaluation -- the result of falling oil prices, capital flight and sanctions imposed by the western world on Russia in the wake of the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula earlier this year -- was not the only geopolitical factor to hit profits, she added.

"Operating revenue [grew] more slowly due to weakening content sales in Ukraine," the exec stated.  

Earlier this month CTC stock dropped more than a fifth after the adoption of a law limiting foreign stakes in Russian media companies to 20 percent. Sweden's Modern Times Group holds 38 percent of the company and CTC says it is closely monitoring progress of the new law, which if signed by President Vladimir Putin, will come into effect Jan. 1, 2016.