Senator revenue falls 40% in 2008

Distributor/producer says late-year sell-offs limited damage

COLOGNE, Germany -- The year 2008 is one German distributor/producer Senator Entertainment might like to forget.

The company, which released its full-year earnings Tuesday, saw revenue slump 40% to just €31.9 million ($41 million) and losses surge to €3.4 million ($4.4 million) from €100,000 a year earlier.

The Berlin-based group was quick to accentuate the positive, noting that, while the first half of the year was a disaster -- with a pretax EBIT loss of €9.2 million -- restructuring and subsidiary sell-offs in the last six months of 2008 helped limit the damage.

Senator also has gotten off to a good start this year, with the release of Kate Winslet starrer "The Reader." The Oscar winner is closing in on the 2 million admissions mark in Germany and has earned about $17 million so far, making it the most successful Senator release since German period piece "The Miracle of Bern" in 2003.

Senator is forecasting revenue of €45 million ($58 million) for the full year and a positive EBIT in the €5 million-€8 million ($6 million-$10 million) range.