Results published by the company show that its net revenues amounted to $703,906,000, or 9.5% more (+5.3% lfl) than a year earlier.
OIBDA was $222,674,000 (+23.9%, +20.9% lfl), while net income, at $157,692,000, was three times higher than the $49,768,000 posted a year earlier.
Of its five operations, the one in Slovenia, which is no longer for sale, saw the highest revenue growth (15.9% actual, 12% lfl) in 2018, though the Czech Republic, closely followed by Romania, remained the most lucrative.
Commenting on the results, Michael Del Nin, co-CEO, said: “For the fifth consecutive year we have achieved OIBDA growth of more than 20%, continuing a lengthy streak of margin expansion that has resulted in 20 consecutive quarters of growth in trailing twelve month OIBDA. Just as remarkable, cash flow generation surged by almost 30% in 2018. This increasing level of cash generated by the business allowed us to make a further €60 million debt repayment last week, adding to the now nearly $440 million reduction in gross debt over the last 18 months. With expectations of further strong growth in profitability and run-rate debt service obligations now less than $27 million annually, we start 2019 in a significantly better financial position than at any point in CME’s history.”
Christoph Mainusch, co-CEO, added: “We couldn’t be happier with the results of our operations and strength of the business. Strong TV ad markets and a second consecutive year of double digit growth in carriage fees and subscription revenues have improved both profitability and our financial position. Production of original local content remains a key pillar of our strategy. It is an important factor in attracting large audiences not just on television, but also on other non-linear sources of entertainment. We believe growth in TV ad revenues in 2019 will be supplemented by a higher proportion of income from other sources.”