Modern Times Group (MTG)-backed CTC Media has provided an update on its response to amendments to Russia’s mass media law will limit the level of foreign ownership in broadcasters, and other media companies, to 20%.
In its latest set of results, it says: “Our board of directors, through its advisory committee, is continuing to work with our management and with external legal, financial and tax advisors to identify, evaluate and implement an appropriate response that achieves compliance with the requirements of the new law while safeguarding the interest of all of our stockholders. The board continues to consider a variety of potential alternatives, including corporate restructuring, franchising and licensing structures, capital reorganisation and divestments. These alternatives include, among others, a potential sale transaction. To date, no affirmative decision on these alternatives has been made. If the board were to pursue a sale of the business, there can be no assurance that it would be successful in negotiating a transaction on acceptable terms or at all. As a result, the value of the common stock of our company could further decline, and you may lose all or a significant portion of your investment”.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding its future ownership and the difficulties faced by the Russian ad market, 2014 was a successful year for CTC Media.
Its total revenues increased by 3% year-on-year in ruble terms to R27.3 billion, while ad revenues increased by 4% to R26.7 billion.
Adjusted OIBDA was down by 10% to R7.8 billion and it had a net cash position of $139.4 million at the end of the period.
Significantly, the company outperformed overall TV ad market growth of 2.3% year-on-year.
Commenting on CTC Media’s results, CEO Yuliana Slashcheva said that “Overall we are confident that our strategy for diversification of revenue streams, expansion of digital offerings and growth of the combined audience share positions us to continue to capture market opportunities in 2015 and beyond”.
However, she also conceded that the broadcaster faces a challenging operating environment due to the predicted slump in TV ad spend in Russia this year.