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First-Half Profit Slumps at Swiss Media Group Highlight

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones Trailer Screengrab - H 2012
Highlight's German subsidiary Constantin Film produced "The Mortal Instruments."

Financials are expected to be stronger in the second six months of the year with the release of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" from the company's Constantin Film unit.

COLOGNE, Germany – Swiss media group Highlight Communications saw revenues slip and profits more than halved in the first six months of this year but expects a turnaround in the fall with the international release of fantasy feature The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, produced by Highlight's German subsidiary Constantin Film.

VIDEO: 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' Trailer

Revenue at the Swiss group slipped sharply to $168 million (CHF 156.4 million) while profits plunged to $4.7 million (CHF 4.4 million) from CHF 11.2 million over the same period last year. The decline in first-half revenues marked a 4.4 percent slip, while net profits amounted to a 60.7 percent fall. The drop was largely do to a change in Highlight's Champions League deal with European soccer governing body UEFA, which sees UEFA take back duties to organize matches for the popular pan-European tournament instead of farming them out to Highlight.

Highlight's film revenues are also heavily back-loaded, with its most high-profile releases coming up out the second half of the year. These include animated family feature Tarzan 3D and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the first entry in a fantasy franchise, both produced by Highlight's German subsidiary Constantin Film; as well as licensed titles Walking With Dinosaurs and Wikileaks film The Fifth Estate featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.