(Wraps TVN stories, adds CEO comment)
WARSAW, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Polish broadcaster TVN expects programming changes to help raise its audience share and boost 2014 advertising revenue growth, the group said on Wednesday.
TVN, which broadcasts Polish versions of MasterChef or Project Runway to compete with larger rival Cyfrowy Polsat , sees its overall 2014 sales growing less than in advertising due to lower thematic channel income.
The broadcaster disappointed the market with a 0.5 percent annual dip in second-quarter revenue to 434 million zlotys ($136.6 million) despite a 3.7 percent rise in advertising income.
“Our second-quarter sales reflect mainly the impact of weaker audience share results on the back of global sports events aired by public television,” TVN Chief Executive Markus Tellenbach said in a statement.
He added that the group, with a market value of about $1.5 billion, made changes to its programming which should result in high single-digit growth in advertising revenue in the third quarter.
Saddled with euro-denominated debt costs and struggling with a dire advertising market, TVN moved to spin off businesses to cut debt and revive profits in recent years.
Earlier this year, it said it saw a recovery in the television ad market, allowing for the buybacks of shares and bonds.
The group, which closed the first half with net debt of 2.1 billion zlotys, added that it expected to hold another buyback offer worth 120-150 million zlotys at the end of the year.
TVN has already bought back 100 million zlotys’ worth of its shares in the first tranche of a 500 million zloty buyback programme. It also redeemed 35 million euros ($46 million) of bonds, booking more than half of its 2014 bond buyback target.
Lower debt costs and higher profits at its subsidiaries helped TVN shift to a net profit of 115 million zlotys in the second quarter, a tad above expectations. (1 US dollar = 3.1778 Polish zloty) (1 US dollar = 0.7590 euro) (Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Hugh Lawson)