First-Half Profit Slumps at Swiss Media Group Highlight
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.
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.