Russian broadcaster CTC Media targets internet users

Reuters

MOSCOW, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Russian broadcaster CTC Media plans to expand its online presence in a bid to tap asurge spending on internet advertising and offset slowing growthin the TV ad market, it said on Thursday.

Russian advertising spending grew 9 percent in the thirdquarter, with online advertising rising 27 percent - three timesfaster than the TV segment, according to industry associationAKAR, as people increasingly watch movies and TV shows online.

Revenues at Russia's biggest non state-controlledbroadcaster rose in line with the market - by 9 percent inrouble terms or 6 percent in dollars to $171 million, CTC saidin a statement.

"Russia's TV ad market continues to grow since it remainsunderdeveloped with ad spend as a percentage of GDP still lowerthan in Europe. However (the) ad market is slowing down in 2013and 2014," said Chief Executive Yuliana Slashcheva.

"The macro forecasts on the Russian market are deteriorating... which will of course influence overall business and thecompany," she said on a conference call.

CTC, which runs three free-to-air entertainment channels inRussia, revised down its estimate for TV ad market growth thisyear and now expects high single-digit growth in rouble termscompared with last year, against its previous estimate for a 10percent increase.

Slashcheva said CTC aimed to diversify revenue streams inthe next five years, targeting digital projects, online servicesand e-commerce - part of a strategy to make CTC a leader incontent creation and distribution via "all potentiallymonetiseable platforms", including mobile.

The company, which already has production companies, isfocused on developing more of its own content including throughpartnerships and joint ventures with Russian and internationalproduction companies, said Slashcheva.

CTC also reported a $46.7 million net profit for the thirdquarter against a $38.5 million loss the year earlier when itrecorded a one-off impairment charge related to the plannedshift from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Analysts forecast net profit of around $29 million andrevenue of $174 million, according to Thomson Reuters' I/B/E/S.

CTC is part-owned by Sweden's Modern Times Group and private Russian media company National Media Group.

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