CTC Profit Rises 45% on Ad Sales

CTC Media, which controls the country's fourth-biggest television network by market share, said Thursday that fourth-quarter profit rose 45 percent as advertising sales increased.

Net income climbed to $59.7 million, or 38 cents per share, from $41.1 million, or 26 cents, a year earlier under generally accepted accounting principles, CTC Media said in an e-mailed statement. That was higher than the $58 million median estimate of five analysts surveyed by telephone and e-mail. Sales rose 37 percent to $161.7 million.

"Our results were driven by the robust growth of the Russian television advertising market and the strong position of our CTC and Domashny brands," chief executive Alexander Rodnyansky said in the statement.

Nasdaq-listed CTC Media is benefiting from the country's expanding advertising market. Spending on television commercials in Russia climbed 31 percent last year to $4.6 billion, according to the Association of Communication Agencies in Russia.

Fourth-quarter operating income before depreciation and amortization, or OIBDA, rose 46 percent to $92.8 million. OIBDA profit as a percentage of sales, a measure tracked by analysts, rose to 57.4 percent from 54.1 percent a year earlier.

CTC Media predicted sales of $600 million to $650 million this year with an OIBDA margin of 45 percent to 48 percent, the company said in the statement.

CTC Network's fourth-quarter audience share fell to 8.9 percent from 9 percent a year earlier.