Hightlight beats profit forecast

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Swiss media group Highlight Communications missed its revenue target for 2007 but blasted past profit predictions, booking a net profit of 30.7 million Swiss francs ($30 million), a 19% jump on a year earlier.

Revenue at Highlight slipped to 482 million Swiss francs ($478 million), a 7.6% drop. This was in part due to the distortion of German blockbuster "Perfume -- The Story of a Murderer," produced by Highlight-owned Constantin Film, which inflated revenue figures in 2006. A change in the method of valuing Constantin's assets also contributed to the drop.

Earlier this week German mogul Leo Kirch sold an 11.3% stake in Highlight to Munich-based EM.Sport Media. The cash and share deal makes EM.Sport Highlight single largest shareholder, with a 37.6% stake and boosts Kirch's share of EM.Sport to just around 17%. (HR 3/31).
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