Constantin numbers dip from '06 boom

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BERLIN -- After predicting a year ago that its 2006 numbers would be hard to beat, Constantin Film announced 2007 financial data that fit those lowered expectations.

Sales for 2007 stood at 225 million euros ($355 million), down 14.3% from the previous year's 262.7 million euros ($414.7 million) but -- as the company points out -- still within their predicted range.

During a year without a big breakout hit like Tom Tykwer's "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," Constantin's theatrical division earned 33.4 million euros ($52.7 million) as opposed to 47.5 million euros ($75 million) in 2006, but saw small-screen revenue jump 59% to 44.7 million euros ($70.6 million) from 28.1 million euros ($44.4 million) the year prior, due largely to strong home video releases from the company's cinematic banner year.

TV production and licensing, which includes titles by Constantin subsidiaries Olga Film, MOOVIE, Rat Pack Filmproduktion and Westside Filmproduktion, brought in earnings of 106 million euros ($167.3 million), up from 123.3 million euros ($194.7 million).

The company, which has been rumored to be on the auction block for the better part of a year now, stresses its positive outlook for 2008, naming titles including the just-released German blockbuster "Die Welle" (The Wave), terrorist docudrama "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" and such pickups as "Step Up to the Streets" as examples.

In a related development, Constantin announced today that it has extended its exclusive production contract with former company head Bernd Eichinger through 2014.
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