'Perfume,' TV side drive Constantin profits

4:00 AM PST 11/23/2006 by Scott Roxborough, AP


COLOGNE, Germany -- Constantin Film is enjoying the sweet smell of success, thanks to homegrown blockbuster "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" and a muscular TV business.

Sales at Constantin in the first nine months of 2006 jumped 43% to €212.3 million ($274.8 million) and net profits hit €6.3 million ($8.2 million), almost double the €3.3 million the company booked over the same period last year, the company announced Wednesday.

Theatrical revenues at Constantin were up 68% in the first three quarters to €30.2 million ($39.1 million).The strong figures have a lot to do with Tom Tykwer's olfactory-themed thriller "Perfume," which has sold more than 5 million tickets in Germany alone.

But it was Constantin's television business that generated the bulk of the company's revenue. TV production brought in €91.1 million ($117.9 million), or 43% of the company's total sales, compared to €54.8 million in the first nine months of 2005.

Licensing sales also were strong, surging to €35.3 million ($45.7 million) in the first three quarters of 2006 compared with €16.4 million over the same period last year.

Home entertainment was the only division that didn't show year-to-year growth. Without a major hit to drive unit sales, Constantin's DVD division has earned just €19.1 million ($24.7 million) so far this year, less than half the €41.9 million generated by Sept. 30, 2005.

Constantin is holding to its year-end forecast, saying it expects a profit of at least €265 million ($343 million) and an EBIT profit of at least €14 million ($18.1 million) for all of 2006.
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