ZAGREB, March 15, 2018 – The Croatian government on Thursday recommended that the parliament adopt a report on the operation of the Croatian Radio Television (HRT) public broadcaster in 2016 but also oblige the public media service to make a plan to cut its loan debt, reduce operating costs and the cost of external contractors, increase the efficiency of its permanent staff and carry out restructuring due to problems identified in its business operations.
“The report shows that there has been certain progress in the HRT’s business operations, as evidenced by an increase in its profit, however, one should continue reducing operating costs, notably as regards external contractors, and take measures to increase liquidity and reduce the debt,” a state secretary at the Culture Ministry, Krešimir Partl, said while explaining the government’s proposal to the parliament.
The HRT’s revenues in 2016 amounted to 1.393 billion kuna, down 0.4% (5.5 million) from 2015 and 1.1% (15 million kuna) from the 2016 plan.
Expenses totalled 1.363 billion kuna, down 1.3% (17.6 million kuna) from 2015 and 2.5% (34.6 million kuna) less than planned for 2016.
The profit in 2016 totalled 30.3 million kuna, 66% (18.3 million kuna) more than in 2015 and 182.4% more than planned for 2016.
The HRT’s debt carried over to 2016 at the end of that year totalled a still high 587.96 million kuna (down 1.6% from 2015).
The HRT’s debt to banks and other financial institutions was 7.6% or 26.3 million kuna higher than in 2015, as in 2016 additional loans worth 140 million kuna were taken from banks. The payment of due installments was normal.
The cost of external contractors was down 3.8% from 2015, totalling 89.1 million kuna. Even though in 2016 the number of HRT employees declined, the cost of wages was higher due to court and out-of-court settlements totalling 1.21 million kuna.