Sales of DVDs boom in France

Discs have $84 mil in sales, VHS still tops with $418 mil

PARIS — The French DVD market exploded last year, with the number sold leaping from 700,000 in 1998 to 4.5 million, the French distributors organization Le Syndicat de l’Edition Video reported Tuesday.

Sales totaled $84 million, with an average of 13 DVDs bought for every player.

VHS cassettes, however, took the lion’s share of the video business in France with 40 million units sold, a slight increase of 0.5% on 1998 even though there was no new “Titanic” to boost the market. Sales totaled $418 million, down 11% on 1998 because of lower prices.

Turnover for the whole sector, including video rental and laserdisc sales, reached $585 million, up 1.5% on the previous year.

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