Sales up, profits down at Splendid Medien

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Sales at German distributor-licenser Splendid Medien continued to inch up in the third quarter but profits slipped slightly.

The Cologne-based group booked €6.57 million ($8.7 million) in revenue in the third quarter, up from €5.09 million over the same period last year. Net profit was €217,000 ($287,263), down from €246,000 in third-quarter 2005.

The figures for the first nine months of 2006 paint a similar picture. While revenues at Splendid climbed to €17.7 million ($23.42 million) from €15.1 million in the comparable year-ago period, net profit dropped to just €400,000 ($529,360) from €900,000.

Last year's numbers were pumped up by a retransfer of €1.1 million ($1.46 million) in liability funds that Splendid had set aside in connection with its legal wrangling with Gold Circle Films and LHO over the German licensing revenue to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Factoring out this one-off effect, Splendid actually saw an increase in profits in 2006.

After teetering on the brink for quite some time, in part due to the Gold Circle suit, Splendid is again expanding, albeit slowly.

This year, the group tripled -- to €6.1 million ($8.07 million) -- its investment in film rights, signed a distribution deal with German VOD provider in2movies and inked an agreement with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in Amsterdam to distribute two Splendid titles in the Benelux territories.
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