October 24, 2017 / 6:33 AM / 2 years ago

Broadcaster CME posts core profit rise in third quarter

PRAGUE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises (CME) posted a 30 percent rise in core profit in the third quarter, boosted by growing television advertising revenue, it said on Tuesday.

The results, from continuing operations after the company announced the planned sale of its Croatian and Slovenian operations earlier this year, showed operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) at $25.1 million.

Revenue increased 11 percent to $119.4 million.

“Our strong momentum from the first half of 2017 continued through the third quarter, positioning us very well as we head into the final months of the year, and providing a very solid base as we look to grow further in 2018,” co-Chief Executive Michael Del Nin said in a statement.

“As a result of strong gains in OIBDA and unlevered free cash flow, we are able to raise our guidance for the full year, and with our net leverage ratio now below 6 times, we will see our average borrowing cost decline by 125 basis points to 6.0 percent, its lowest level in eight years.”

The company plans to use proceeds from its sale of stations in Croatia and Slovenia to pay down its large debts and it said its borrowing cost would decrease further to 4.5 percent after the deal closes by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

CME said it recorded revenue growth in all its four remaining markets, including a more than 9 percent increase in the Czech Republic and Romania, its largest profit drivers. (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by David Holmes)

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