Senator Secures Turnaround in 2010

9:05 AM PST 04/26/2011 by Scott Roxborough

German film group books operating profit after major restructuring.

COLOGNE, Germany - Senator Entertainment, the troubled child of the German film industry, appears to have turned the corner, booking an operating profit of $2.2 million (€1.5 million) last year after losing $5.7 million (€ 3.9 million) in 2009.

One-off losses attributed to the collapse of TV production subsidiary Pro TV and currency fluctuations meant Senator still ended 2010 in the red, with a net loss of $730,000 (€500,000) but CEO Helge Sasse said the company will be back in black this year.

Things are looking rosy for Senator thanks to Colin Firth-starrer The King's Speech, which has earned upwards of $22 million so far at the German box office.

Sasse also firmed up the company's financials with a new $10 million line of credit with Israeli bank LEUMI and extended Senator's lucrative DVD licensing deal with German home entertainment group Universum.

But Senator will need a few more hits if it's David O. Russell's Oscar-winner The Fighter has not been a knockout for the distributor, earning less than $1 million and Senator has few surefire titles in its eclectic upcoming slate, which includes Ben Affleck-starrer Company Men, the romantic comedy A Little Bit of Heaven starring Kate Hudson and Gael Garcia Bernal and Swedish crime thriller Easy Money.

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