CME reduces losses, wins Time Warner funding

February 28, 2014 14.27 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

CMECentral European Media Enterprises (CME) managed to significantly reduce its debt both in the last quarter and full year 2013.

At the same time, it has improved its financial position by securing additional funding from Time Warner.

Results published by the company, which has broadcast interests in six CEE markets, show that it had net revenues of $691,034,000 (€505,009,000) in 2013, compared to $772,085,000 a year earlier.

OIBDA was meanwhile a negative $46,455,000, compared to $125,422,000.

However its net loss of $281,533,000 contrasted with one of $546,393,000 in 2012.

Q4 figures show the company with net revenues of £237,909,000 ($253,338,000), OIBDA of -$395,000 ($60,742,000) and a net loss of $108,209,000 (£503,084,000).

Looking at specific markets, net revenues in the Czech Republic, until now CME’s leading market, fell from $278,097,000 in 2012 to $191,824,000 last year.

Those in Romania meanwhile rose from $195,551,000 to $208,077,000, making it the company’s most lucrative market in terms of revenues.

Regarding OIBDA, Bulgaria found itself in top spot with a figure of $13,391,000 in 2013.

In a move designed to improve its finances, CME has announced a refinancing of 2016 notes with proceeds from a rights offering and funds provided by Time Warner. From this, it expects to raise approximately $396.8 million.

In another development, it has launched a consent solicitation by its subsidiary CET 21 in connection with the latter’s 9% senior secured notes, due in 2017.

Commenting on the results, Michael Del Nin, co-CEO, said: “While this has been a difficult year for the company financially, we are encouraged by the progress we are making on our operating priorities. In addition, today we announced a series of related financing transactions that, following closing, will comprehensively address the company’s liquidity needs, improve our debt maturity profile, and set us on a path to being free cash flow positive starting in 2015.”

Christoph Mainusch, co-CEO, added: “Our results from 2013 demonstrate that we continue to be clear market leaders in terms of audience share in all of our territories and we expect to maintain this position in 2014. We remain committed to our focus on the efficiency of our operations by identifying opportunities to reduce content and operating costs. However, we will not jeopardize our leading audience share positions.”