Russia's CTC Sees Promise in Q2 Results

Profits are down slightly from last year, but the trend is positive at the network.

LONDON - Russia's leading commercial network CTC Media Tuesday reported positive Q2 figures.

Although profits for the quarter were down seven percent compared with last year in dollar terms to $31 million, turnover grew nearly $30 million to $206 million.

Higher operating costs tugged down the bottom line, but the overall the picture is more positive than a half-year comparison, the company said.

CTC Media -- which runs a network of popular commercial channels including niche daytime women-oriented Domashny as well as flagship CTC -- said the figures showed a healthier trend compared with half-year figures.  By comparison those numbers showed turnover up six percent at $401 million and profits down 10 percent to $60 million.

Although earnings per share for the second quarter dipped a couple of cents to $0.20 (half year $0.38 compared with $0.42 last year), the trend for 2013 was strong enough for the company to predict dividend payouts of 63 cents per share by the end of the year.

Newly appointed general director Yuliana Slashcheva, ex-head of a PR agency Mikhailkov & Partners, who took up her post last week following the resignation of Boris Podolsky, said: "I am pleased to join the company now at a time of dynamic growth. The second quarter was a successful one for the holding, with increases in prime-time viewing figures."

The figures, released just days after Eastern Europe's other major commercial network, CME, posted a second quarter loss of $41 million, demonstrates that the Russian television advertising market remains among the strongest in the wider region, despite the persistence of choppy economic conditions.

Russia has not been hit by the recession that has blighted the Eurozone and hit other economies in the east of the continent.

But double-digit growth of the boom years until 2008 has slowed to current figures of less than two percent annual growth.