CME slumps to new low

cme-plasmaThe new management team at Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has described the company’s latest set of results as “unacceptable”.

In a statement accompanying them, Michael Del Nin, co-CEO, commented: “Christoph (Mainusch) and I find this level of performance unacceptable and have directed all of our energy since starting with CME a few weeks ago to addressing the major reasons for these financial results and making changes to improve them going forward.”

Christoph Mainusch, co-CEO, added: “Our leading audience shares give us a strong advantage over our competition, and we intend to capitalise on this by concentrating our efforts on improving the monetization of our audiences. Improving the performance of our Czech operations is the top priority. We believe that rebuilding our relationships with agencies and clients while protecting price increases achieved during the year is an essential step to improving our competitive position in that market.”

The results saw CME post net revenues of $135,838,000 (€98,635,600) in the third quarter, compared to $140,092,000 in the corresponding period last year. OIBDA went from a positive $3,508,000 to negative $32,444,000 over the same period and operating loss from $18,401,000 to $44,967,000. The net loss was reduced from $32,637,000 to $23,273,000.

Results for the first nine months of the year were equally disappointing, with the net loss year-on-year growing from $43,309,000 to $173,324,000.

Of major concern to CME is the way the Czech Republic, for many years its cash cow in the CEE region, is now performing so badly.

Indeed, its revenues in Q3 of $39,363,000 contrasted with $51,566,000 a year earlier, while those in its other markets, with the exception of Slovakia, either rose or remained constant.

Interestingly, Romania has now overtaken the Czech Republic in revenue terms.

CME is one of the longest established operators of commercial TV services in the CEE region.

It currently has a presence in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia.