Germany's EM books first-half loss

Cost of planned Highlight merger erodes profits

COLOGNE, Germany -- The cost of EM.SportMedia's planned merger with Swiss group Highlight cut into EM's first-half profits. EM booked a net loss of 6.5 million euros ($9.5 million) for the first half, compared with a 1.7 million euro loss over the same period in 2007.

Revenue was up about 3% at 115 million euros ($168 million). EM holds 47.3% of Highlight and plans to consolidate the company in the third quarter.

Among the Swiss firm's main assets are the lucrative rights to the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament and its majority stake in leading indie German producer/distributor Constantin Film.