Sales up, profit down at Egmont

Exchange rate, write-offs hurt bottom line

COLOGNE, Germany -- Danish media giant Egmont boosted sales 5% to €1.57 billion ($2 billion) in 2008 but exchange-rate adjustments and goodwill write-offs cut into net profit, which was well below expectations at just €3 million ($4 million), compared with €52 million a year earlier.

Egmont is one of Scandinavia’s leading media companies, controlling production/distribution group Nordisk as well as holding a 50% stake in top Norwegian TV channel TV2.

Egmont expanded its already formidable presence in the region last year, taking a 50% stake in indie film powerhouse Zentropa and a 40% share of leading Norwegian magazine publisher Hjemmet Mortensen.

But economic pressures are forcing Egmont to tighten its belt. The company has introduced cost-cutting measures aimed at saving some €60 million ($79 million) a year from its budget.