TV buoys Constantin half

But theatrical malaise continues

Stronger business on the TV service production side made up for a downturn in theatrical revenue at leading German production/distribution indie Constantin Film.

Constantin's theatrical revenue slipped to €8.6 million ($11.6 million) in the first half of 2007 from €11 million over the same period last year. The bulk of theatrical sales came from just a handful of titles: German-language comedies "Heavy Weights" and "Neues vom Wixxer," children's film "The Wild Chicks and Love" and French-language acquisition "La Vie en Rose."

But the theatrical business accounted for only 7% of Constantin's €124 million ($167 million) in first-half revenue, a figure even with last year's.

The bulk of Constantin's business is now in television. Constantin's TV service production arm booked €73.9 million ($99.8 million) in revenue for the first half, 60% of the company's total and up slightly from €71.4 million in first-half 2006. Constantin earned another €12.9 million ($17.4 million) from the licensing of TV rights for its films to German channels.

Home video sales at Constantin also were strong, up a staggering 70%, to €22.1 million ($29.8 million).

Net profit, however, slipped to €1.3 million ($1.8 million) from €1.9 million in first-half 2006. In addition to the weak theatrical market, Constantin blamed the decline on increasing pressure on margins in the German TV business.

For the second half, the Munich-based group is counting on such German comedies as "Pornorama" and "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Park" to revive its fortunes.

For the full year, Constantin is forecasting revenue of at least €250 million ($338 million) and a positive operating result of at least €12 million ($16 million).