Mixed media in Germany with MME, IM

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There was a clear winner and a big loser among German media stocks Tuesday. While shares of TV production group MME Moviement jumped 4% on solid first-half results, shares of IM Internationalmedia plummeted 20% as the company's figures showed no sign of improvement.

IM briefly dipped to 21 euro cents (28 cents), a 52-week low, before closing down 20% at 23 euro cents (31 cents) after IM said that it has brought in revenue of €10.8 million ($14.7 million) in the first half and booked a loss of €4.7 million ($6.4 million). During the same period in 2006, IM had €42.5 million in revenue and a €300,000 loss.

IM blamed the second-quarter slide on the fact that the company had only one release in the period — low-budget comedy "Magicians," an Intermedia/Universal Pictures co-production. The Andrew O'Connor-directed feature has only been released in the U.K. and Malta so far and has enjoyed less-than-stellar boxoffice results. The bulk of IM's second-quarter revenue came from sales of library rights.

IM tried to put a positive spin on the numbers, saying its newly launched sales unit, headed by former First Look International president Stuart Ford, signed $40 million worth of deals at May's Marche du Film in Cannes. The cash "provides a solid basis for new productions," IM said.

Meanwhile, it was a different story at Berlin-based MME, which saw shares jump 2.6% to €7.59 ($10.28) after going as high as €7.70 ($10.42) intraday.

MME, which is controlled by private-equity group Permira, booked €44.2 million ($60.1 million) in revenue in the first half, an 8.6% jump. Traders did not seem worried that earnings before interest and taxes at the company dipped from €3.6 million a year ago to €2 million ($2.7 million).

MME shares also continue to benefit from takeover speculation. Many analysts have suggested that German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1, which is controlled by Permira together with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, will move to acquire MME.
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