CME’s examines finance options as losses deepen

Broadcast group Central European Media Enterprises (CME) saw its fourth-quarter net losses deepen as the weakness of the advertising market in central and eastern Europe continued to take its toll.

CME ended the year with cash and near-cash reserves of US$140.4 million.

The broadcaster said that it was exploring options to improve its liquidity position, including the sale of assets as well as new equity financing and renegotiation of debts. The company is in talks with parent company Time Warner regarding its possible involvement in a public or private equity offering.

CME posted a net loss of US$503.1 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of US$77.2 million for the same period in 2011.

The company was hit by a non-cash impairment charge for the full-year of US$522.5 million compared to US$68.7 million for 2011.

Net revenues for the full year were US$ 772.1 million compared to US$ 864.8 million in 2011.

Net loss for the year was US$546.4 million compared to US$179.6 million in 2011.

“As guided in November, our performance this year reflected the tough market conditions in 2012,” said president and CEO Adrian Sarbu. “Challenging times require bold actions: increasing advertising prices and carriage fees. With strong leadership positions in all our markets, no debt due until November 2015 and the support of our major shareholders, we are looking forward into 2013 with confidence that we can build upon our strengths and increase our revenues. We are planning to restructure our operating model, to reduce the cost base and improve our capital structure and liquidity.”