CME ‘positioned for growth’, says CEO

CME co-CEO Christoph Mainusch has claimedthe CEE broadcast group is now leaner, fitter and more efficient after a tough period.

michael mainuschTime Warner-backed CME has channels across the CEE region and Mainusch and his co-CEO Michael Del Nin were tasked with turning the business around after a period in which it had suffered as region-wide ad revenues fell away sharply.

Mainusch will be a keynote speaker at the New Europe Market event in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in mid-June. Ahead of his appearance at NEM he spoke to organisers about CME.

“It was clear that the turnaround will take more than one year,” he said. “There were a couple of items we focused on: maintain our clear audience leadership in all our territories, improve our advertising revenue results in the Czech Republic by introducing a revised sales policy, better manage our programme inventory, apply a high cost discipline, concentrate on our core activities and divest non-core assets, and restructure the company so it’s more lean and efficient.”

“We’ve accomplished all these goals and strengthened our leading market position – a solid base for our future growth.”

CME’s 2015 results showed a decrease in revenues of US$605.8 million compared with US$680.8 million a year earlier. Stripping out the effects of currency fluctuations, CME said revenues actually increased 6% as the advertising sector recovered.

Operating income at the NASDAQ and Prague-listed business was up through the year at US$94.6 million versus US$38.3 million in 2014 and OIBDA profit was US$122.8 million against US$95.4 million across the same period.

The CME chief said that regaining top spot in the Czech Republic, CME’s biggest market was a key priority for him and the company, as was ensuring it was garnering subscription, as well as, advertising revenue.

“Regaining market share in the Czech Republic was the number one operational priority,” Mainusch said. “Another strategic priority was to secure carriage and subscription fees. It is important to have built a second revenue stream.”

With the company having completed its turnaround, the growth phase will see new services introduced, the CME boss claimed.

Recently we have launched an additional pay sport channel, Nova Sport 2, in the Czech Republic to complement our sports program offer,” Mainusch said ahead of NEM. “We’ve also introduced two new channels in the beginning of the year, Nova International and Markiza International.