Solid Q1 for merged Constantin Medien

Merger, consolidation bucks economic trend

COLOGNE, Germany -- Constantin Medien, the German media giant formed by the recent merger of rights group EM.SportMedia, Switzerland's Highlight Communications and German indie film company Constantin Film, had a solid first quarter despite the economic crisis.

Revenue soared to €120.8 million ($168 million) against €51.8 million in first-quarter 2008, and Constantin booked a net profit of €2.1 million ($2.9) compared with €4.1 million a year earlier.

The figures cannot truly be compared, however, because last year's merger and the full consolidation of Highlight and Constantin reset the scales.

For the full year, Constantin is forecasting revenue of €500 million-€520 million ($694 million-$721 million) and net earnings of between €0.03-€0.06 a share, which would translate into €3.5 million-€5 million ($4.9 million-$6.9 million).

Looking at the divisions separately, Highlight saw revenue drop 13% to about $107 million and net profits half to $7.2 million. Sales at Constantin Film slipped 17.7% to $77 million, and net profits were a slim $840,000 for the quarter.