Senator has strong half, boosts forecast

Co. reports $76 mil in revenues

BERLIN — Senator Entertainment came in with first-half results to write home about Friday and increased its full-year forecasts, to the applause of Neuer Markt analysts.

Outdoing bankers’ forecasts, the Berlin-based film company reported first-half revenues of 83 million euros ($76 million), compared with $35 million last year. Analysts were expecting about $65 million.

“These were excellent results,” said Bernard Tubeileh of Merrill Lynch.

Senator put the strong performance down to good box office results as well as its recent move into international production and licensing activities.

Its world sales were up by 423% to $55 million. Top films in the first half were “Chocolat” and local clicks “Das Experiment” and “Now or Never.”

Overall, results reached $5.8 million, up some 30%. Its revised annual forecasts predict revenues of $170 million, up from $97 million last year.

An established local producer and distributor, Senator has been listed on the Neuer Markt exchange since February 2000.

Earlier this year, Senator set up the L.A. based sales company Senator Intl. Last year it struck production pacts and output arrangements with Joe Roth and FilmFour, among others.

It also has a minority stake in local cinema chain CinemaxX. Following a writeoff against CinemaxX in the first half, company said it expects significantly better business from the exhib in the usually stronger second half.

Senator also expects good results from its upcoming releases “American Sweethearts,” “The Others” and “Enigma.”

The share price was up late in the day to $2.57.

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