Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. Reports Results for the Full Year and Fourth Quarter Ended December 31, 2018
HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 6, 2019--Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (“CME” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ/Prague Stock Exchange - CETV) today announced financial results for the full year and three months ended December 31, 2018.
Operational and financial highlights in 2018:TV advertising revenues increased 7% at actual rates and 3% at constant rates. Carriage fees and subscription revenues increased 19% at actual rates and 15% at constant rates. OIBDA increased 24% at actual rates and 21% at constant rates. OIBDA margins expanded approximately 400 basis points to 32%. Cash generated from continuing operating activities increased 17% at actual rates to US$ $109 million. Unlevered free cash flow in 2018 increased 29% at actual rates to US$ $156 million. CME repaid approximately US$ 312 million of debt and related payables in 2018. The net leverage ratio decreased to 3.5x, down from 5.4x at the start of the year. The average cost of borrowing declined about 250 basis points to 3.5%.
On July 31, 2018, we completed the previously announced sale of our operations in Croatia. Accordingly, the Croatian operations are presented as discontinued operations for all periods in this release. The agreement to sell our operations in Slovenia was terminated on January 18, 2019. As a result, the Slovenian operations are not presented as held for sale, and the discussion in this release relates to our continuing operations in all five operating segments.
Michael Del Nin, co-Chief Executive Officer, commented: “For the fifth consecutive year we have achieved OIBDA growth of more than 20%, continuing a lengthy streak of margin expansion that has resulted in 20 consecutive quarters of growth in trailing twelve month OIBDA. Just as remarkable, cash flow generation surged by almost 30% in 2018. This increasing level of cash generated by the business allowed us to make a further EUR 60 million debt repayment last week, adding to the now nearly $440 million reduction in gross debt over the last 18 months. With expectations of further strong growth in profitability and run-rate debt service obligations now less than $27 million annually, we start 2019 in a significantly better financial position than at any point in CME’s history.”
Christoph Mainusch, co-Chief Executive Officer, added: “We couldn’t be happier with the results of our operations and strength of the business. Strong TV ad markets and a second consecutive year of double digit growth in carriage fees and subscription revenues have improved both profitability and our financial position. Production of original local content remains a key pillar of our strategy. It is an important factor in attracting large audiences not just on television, but also on other non-linear sources of entertainment. We believe growth in TV ad revenues in 2019 will be supplemented by a higher proportion of income from other sources.”
In this release we refer to several non-GAAP financial measures, including OIBDA, OIBDA margin, free cash flow, unlevered free cash flow and constant currency percentage movements. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for additional information, including definitions and reconciliations to US GAAP financial measures.
Consolidated results for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were:
Consolidated results for the three months ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were:
Teleconference and Audio Webcast Details
CME will host a teleconference and audio webcast to discuss its full year and fourth quarter results on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. New York time (2:00 p.m. London time and 3:00 p.m. Prague time). The audio webcast and teleconference will refer to presentation slides which will be available on CME’s website at www.cme.net prior to the call.
To access the teleconference, U.S. and international callers may dial +1-734-385-2616 ten minutes prior to the start time and reference conference ID 3597393. The conference call will be audio webcasted live via www.cme.net. It can be heard on iPads, iPhones and a range of devices supporting Android and Windows operating systems.
A digital audio replay will be available for two weeks following the call at www.cme.net.
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. For all forward-looking statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which cannot be predicted with accuracy or are otherwise beyond our control and some of which might not even be anticipated. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and because our business is subject to such risks and uncertainties, actual results, our strategic plan, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could differ materially from those described in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements.
Important factors that contribute to such risks include, but are not limited to, those factors set forth under “Risk Factors” in CME’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2018 as well as the following: the effect of changes in global and regional economic conditions including as a result of the quantitative easing program implemented by the European Central Bank; the economic, political and monetary impacts of Brexit; levels of television advertising spending and the rate of development of the advertising markets in the countries in which we operate; our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness; the extent to which our debt service obligations and covenants may restrict our business; our exposure to additional tax liabilities as well as liabilities resulting from regulatory or legal proceedings initiated against us; our success in continuing our initiatives to diversify and enhance our revenue streams; our ability to make cost-effective investments in our television businesses, including investments in programming; our ability to develop and acquire necessary programming and attract audiences; and changes in the political and regulatory environments where we operate and in the application of relevant laws and regulations.
The foregoing review of important factors should not be construed as exhaustive. For a more detailed description of these uncertainties and other factors, please see the “Risk Factors” and “Forward-looking Statements” sections in CME’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
This press release should be read in conjunction with our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 6, 2019.
We make available free of charge on our website at www.cme.net our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Please note that we may announce material information using SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls, webcasts and posts to our website, www.cme.net. In the future, we will continue to use these channels to communicate important information about CME and our operations. Information that we post on our website could be deemed material. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media, our customers and others interested in CME to review the information we post at www.cme.net.
CME is a media and entertainment company operating leading businesses in five Central and Eastern European markets with an aggregate population of approximately 45 million people. CME’s operations broadcast 30 television channels in Bulgaria (bTV, bTV Cinema, bTV Comedy, bTV Action, bTV Lady and Ring), the Czech Republic (Nova, Nova 2, Nova Cinema, Nova Sport 1, Nova Sport 2, Nova International, Nova Action and Nova Gold), Romania (PRO TV, PRO 2, PRO X, PRO GOLD, PRO CINEMA, PRO TV International and PRO TV Chisinau), the Slovak Republic (TV Markíza, Markíza International, Doma and Dajto) and Slovenia (POP TV, Kanal A, Brio, Oto and Kino). CME is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and the Prague Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CETV”.
We manage our business on a geographical basis, with five reporting segments: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. These segments reflect how CME Ltd.’s operating performance is evaluated by our chief operating decision makers, who we have identified as our co-Chief Executive Officers, how operations are managed by segment managers, and the structure of our internal financial reporting.
We evaluate our consolidated results and the performance of our segments based on net revenues and OIBDA. From January 1, 2018, stock-based compensation and certain operating costs incurred on behalf of our segments at the corporate level have been allocated to our segments for purposes of evaluating their performance. Prior period information has been recast to conform to the current period presentation. Intersegment revenues and profits have been eliminated in consolidation.
Below are tables showing our net revenues and OIBDA by segment for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018 and 2017:
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In this release we refer to several non-GAAP financial measures, including OIBDA, OIBDA margin, free cash flow and unlevered free cash flow. We believe that each of these metrics is useful to investors for the reasons outlined below. Non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to similar measures reported by other companies. Non-GAAP financial measures should be evaluated in conjunction with, and are not a substitute for, US GAAP financial measures.
We evaluate our consolidated results and the performance of our segments based on net revenues and OIBDA. We believe OIBDA is useful to investors because it provides a meaningful representation of our performance, as it excludes certain items that do not impact either our cash flows or the operating results of our operations. OIBDA and unlevered free cash flow are also used as components in determining management bonuses.
OIBDA includes amortization and impairment of program rights and is calculated as operating income / loss before depreciation, amortization of intangible assets and impairments of assets and certain unusual or infrequent items that are not considered by our co-Chief Executive Officers when evaluating our performance. From January 1, 2018, stock-based compensation and certain operating costs incurred on behalf of our segments at the corporate level have been allocated to our segments for purposes of evaluating their performance. Our key performance measure of the efficiency of our consolidated operations and our segments is OIBDA margin. We define OIBDA margin as the ratio of OIBDA to net revenues.
Following a repricing of our Guarantee Fees in March 2017 and April 2018, we pay interest and related Guarantee Fees on our outstanding indebtedness in cash. In addition to this obligation to pay Guarantee Fees in cash, we expect to use cash generated by the business to pay certain Guarantee Fees that were previously paid in kind. These cash payments are all reflected in free cash flow; accordingly we believe unlevered free cash flow, defined as free cash flow before cash payments for interest and Guarantee Fees, best illustrates the cash generated by our operations when comparing periods. We define free cash flow as net cash generated from continuing operating activities less purchases of property, plant and equipment, net of disposals of property, plant and equipment and excluding the cash impact of certain unusual or infrequent items that are not included in costs charged in arriving at OIBDA because they are not considered by our co-Chief Executive Officers when evaluating performance.
For additional information regarding our business segments, see Part II, Item 8, Note 20, “Segment Data” in our Form 10-K.
While our reporting currency is the dollar, our consolidated revenues and costs are divided across a range of European currencies and CME Ltd.’s functional currency is the Euro. Given the significant movement of the currencies in the markets in which we operate against the dollar, we believe that it is useful to provide percentage movements based on actual (“% Act”) percentage movements, which includes the effect of foreign exchange, as well as like-for-like percentage movements (“% Lfl”). The like-for-like percentage movement references reflect the impact of applying the current period average exchange rates to the prior period revenues and costs. Since the difference between like-for-like and actual percentage movements is solely the impact of movements in foreign exchange rates, our discussion in this release includes constant currency percentage movements in order to highlight those factors influencing operational performance. The incremental impact of foreign exchange rates is presented in the tables accompanying such analysis.
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CONTACT: For additional information, please visitwww.cme.netor contact:
Head of Investor Relations
Central European Media Enterprises
+420 242 465 576
KEYWORD: BERMUDA CARIBBEAN
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ENTERTAINMENT TV AND RADIO GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BANKING FINANCE COMMUNICATIONS ADVERTISING MARKETING PUBLIC RELATIONS/INVESTOR RELATIONS
SOURCE: Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.
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PUB: 02/06/2019 01:51 AM/DISC: 02/06/2019 01:51 AM