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Constantin almost doubles distrib'n revenue

First six months boosted by ‘The Wave,’ ‘Asterix’

MUNICH -- Leading German indie Constantin Film increased distribution sales in the first six months of 2008 to 16.5 million euros ($24.3 million), almost doubling last year's half-year figure of 8.6 million euros ($12.7 million).

The operating result for the period was 9.1 million euros ($13.4 million), a 170% year-over-year increase despite lowered total revenue, which sank to 110.3 million euros ($162.7 million) from 114.8 million euros ($169.3 million) over the first two quarters in 2007.

The lower sales number was expected, deriving mostly from shrinkage in TV production revenue. But the theatrical business took up much of the slack, thanks in part to local productions such as "The Wave," about a school experiment in Third Reich-style politics gone awry, and kiddie hits including the latest in the star-studded "Asterix" franchise. The top foreign title for Constantin was Jon Chu's "Step Up to the Streets."

TV exploitation also made a hefty contribution to the bottom line, up to 23.5 million euros ($34.7 million) from 12.9 million euros ($19 million) during the first two quarters of 2007.

Management sees the company on target for a positive year-end results, with Bernd Eichinger's long-awaited "Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex" scheduled for a fall release.