Germany’s ProSieben TV posts profit hike

Company's net up 59% for first half of '98

BERLIN — Munich-based television group ProSieben Media reported on Wednesday a sharp surge in profits and a slight rise in sales for the first half of 1998.

ProSieben’s net profit rose 59% to 84.1 million marks ($46.7 million), while turnover grew 5% to $549.8 million during the first six months of 1998. Operating profits in ProSieben’s core television business increased 31% to $90.8 million in the first half.

“With this result, we even managed to exceed our own ambitious goals,” ProSieben chairman Georg Kofler said at a press conference in Munich.

Kofler attributed part of the earnings increase to the success of the group’s web Kabel1, which has become the third German network to break even after RTL and the group’s flagship web ProSieben. Kabel1 had a market share of 4.1% in the first half of 1998, up from 3.8% in 1997.

ProSieben invested $213 million in programming rights during the first six months of this year.

The company recently announced it will spend $378 million over the next several years to acquired films and series such as “Independence Day,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “The X-Files.”

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