Pro TV, which owns several TV stations in Romania, posted USD 176.5 million in turnover last year, 34 percent less than in 2008, the media company has announced. Its operational profit declined from USD 111.7 million to USD 38.5 million, a 65 percent year-on-year drop. The reduction in turnover and profit was due to a plunge in advertising revenues. Pro TV runs Pro TV, Acasa, Pro Cinema, Sport.ro, Pro TV International and MTV Romania. The company is owned by US media group CME, which runs TV stations in seven Eastern European countries.
Overall, CME’s net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 decreased 14 percent to USD 252.1 million, compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. EBITDA for the quarter plummeted 45 percent to USD 44.1 million.
The net loss attributable to the CME shareholders for the quarter was USD 55.3 million compared to USD 328.1 million for the three months ending December 31, 2008.
“An unprecedented economic crisis in our region reset TV ad spending 30 percent below 2008. USD 800 million of TV ad spend vanished in one year, dramatically reducing our revenues. This year we will focus our energy on increasing profitability across our three new divisions – broadcasting, internet and content,” said Adrian Sarbu, president and CEO of CME.
Sarbu founded ProTV in 1993, and CME became a shareholder two years later. From 2006 he served as regional director for the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Romania and became chief operating officer at the US media group in October 2007. He was appointed president of the firm in January 2009 in addition to his role as chief operating officer.