Central European Media Has Profit Helped by New Media Units

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CETV), the east European broadcaster partly owned by Time Warner Inc., posted second-quarter profit helped by its Media Pro and New Media units.

Net income from continuing operations for three months ended June 30 was $812,000 compared with a loss of $52.9 million a year earlier, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based broadcaster said in a statement distributed by Globe Newswire today. Revenue rose 23.7 percent to $249.7 million.

“This improvement was driven by our strong brands, leading audience shares in broadcasting and fast growth in Media Pro Entertainment and New Media divisions,” Chief Executive Officer Adrian Sarbu said in the statement. The company expects television advertising markets to grow in the second half of the year, he said.

Central European Media, or CME as the company is known, has been battling a slower-than-expected pick up in advertising spending in all its markets as the economies in the region emerge from recession. The company said in April it may give specific earnings guidance for full year in the presentation to analysts later today.

CME operates TV channels in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. After dropping unprofitable assets in Ukraine in 2010, it agreed to acquire a Bulgarian channel. It also bought a Czech distributor of movies Bontonfilm AS for $11 million.

Time Warner bought a 31 percent stake in the broadcaster for $241.5 million in May 2009, with the agreement that Ronald Lauder, CME’s founder and non-executive chairman, would vote Time Warner’s shares in the company for at least four years. It increased its stake to 34.4 percent on March 3.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lenka Ponikelska in Prague lponikelska1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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