TMG posts record profits

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COLOGNE, Germany -- German media company Tele Muenchen Group has achieved the best results in its 37-year history, booking revenue of $363 million and a pretax (EBIT) profit of $48 million last year, the company said Thursday.

The record earnings came as a result of a 15% jump in 2006 sales figures, due in no small part to TMG's output deal for German TV rights to Warner Bros. films. The deal expired at the end of last year, with German competitor ProSiebenSat.1 signing a $300 million, 3-year output agreement with Warners. But TMG has continued to build its rights library, investing $135 million in film rights last year, the company said.

Recent acquisitions include all-rights deals for such upcoming releases as Universal Picture's "The Incredible Hulk" and Paramount's "Iron Man."

In addition to its core licensing business, TMG operates a film production company, Clasart Film, and a distributor, Concorde Filmverleih. The group also controls German commercial channel Tele 5, which saw advertising revenue jump 58% last year.

In 2006, Tele 5 reached a 0.6% share of the key 14-49 demographic, a 49% jump on a year earlier.

Austrian commercial network ATV, in which TMG holds a 54% stake, booked $54 million in revenues in 2006 and boosted its technical reach to 83% of Austrian households. Kloiber is expected to sell off his ATV stake later this year.
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