MOSCOW: CTC Media, Russia's leading independent media company, has announced that it will seek to diversify away from traditional media to take advantage of the country's growing internet advertising market.

Announcing its third quarter results, chief executive Yuliana Slashcheva said the company intended to focus on digital projects, online services and e-commerce over the next five years, Reuters reported.

While Russia's TV ad market is continuing to grow at a high rate because it remains less developed than the rest of Europe, she said the pace of expansion is expected to slow over the next two years.

By contrast, with overall online adspend rising 27% in the third quarter according to industry association AKAR, Slashcheva said content creation and distribution, including mobile, would be key platforms of the broadcaster's strategy of diversifying revenue streams.

She said the broadcaster, which operates three Russian television networks – CTC, Domashny and Peretz – plans to develop its own content as well as that developed through joint ventures with other Russian companies and international producers.

The company's overall revenues in the third quarter grew by 9% in rouble terms to $171m while its Russian TV advertising grew by 8%.

This represented its highest third quarter profits since 2009, Digital TV Europe reported, which also noted that the CTC channel became the second most popular Russian broadcaster over the quarter.

Domashny, the company's lifestyle channel aimed at women, also reported ad sales growth of 11%, attributed partly to its acquisition of foreign series.

However, its Peretz channel, formerly known as DTV, saw its revenues fall over the quarter, which CTC Media attributed to increased competition from other channels and "underperformance of certain programming".

Data sourced from Reuters, Digital TV Europe; additional content by Warc staff