'Swap' boosts RDF bottom line

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LONDON -- "Wife Swap" producer RDF Media said Tuesday that profit for the 12 months ending Jan. 31 jumped 67% to £99.3 million ($196.5 million) from £59.5 million in 2006 on net profits of £4.8 million.

Adjusted operating profit was up 70% to £9.2 million ($18.2 million), while gross group profits were up 78% at £30.1 million ($59.6 million).

RDF, which has established a West Coast office in Los Angeles under Chris Coelen, said profits from the U.S. production business were up 32% at £2.6 million ($5.1 million) on profit up 36% at £15.7 million ($31.1 million). "Wife Swap" has been commissioned for a fourth season by ABC, and RDF plans to put it in syndication next year.

RDF chief executive David Frank said that rights exploitation and a broadened distribution based contributed to the strong results.

"Over the last year, we have continued to build RDF in both content and rights exploitation and simultaneously broadened the range of activities in which we are engaged," he said. "In the U.K., the U.S. and the major territories across the globe into which we sell, the demand for popular programming and formats remains strong."
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