PRAGUE, March 12 (Reuters) - Central European Media Enterprises (CME) posted a fourth-quarter core profit of $55.1 million on Thursday to help the broadcaster top its full-year guidance.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) of $53.8 million.
The full-year figure reached $95.4 million versus the company’s guidance of $85 million to $95 million following a loss a year earlier.
The central European broadcaster, whose main shareholder is Time Warner, has new management and has won back customers it lost under an aborted strategy of raising prices in the midst of a TV advertising slump.
“We delivered the strongest like-for-like revenue growth in six years, which, combined with our company-wide cost cutting initiatives, resulted in a very significant improvement in OIBDA,” co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Del Nin said.
Revenue climbed 7.5 percent in 2014 but was down 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter at $216.2 million, missing expectations of $239.4 million in the analysts poll.
The net loss in the quarter narrowed to $17.8 million, while the market expected a $200,000 profit.
CME, which owns television stations in six central and eastern European markets, completed a series of financing deals involving its main shareholder last year. It is aiming to have positive free cash flow for 2015. (Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by Jason Neely)