Revs dip but EM.TV turning to profitability

Co. saved from Q1 loss by restructuring

BERLIN — Special one-time restructuring effects boosted first-quarter net profits at German license trader EM.TV to E93.5 million ($115 million) while overall revenues dropped 29% to $58.3 at the newly slimmed down company.

Not counting the hefty $116 million one-off profit from the restructuring of a $575 million convertible bond that was due next year, EM.TV would have seen a net loss of $1.1 million, down from a deficit of $36.7 million in the same period last year.

Restructuring has given the company a new lease on life after years of severe financial difficulties that pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy and has placed the license trader on the path to profitability this year.

The restructuring plan included a full waiver of the bond by bondholders in return for 60% of the company as well as proceeds from a planned sale of EM.TV’s 45% stake in Teutonic film and TV company Tele Munchen, which is on the block.

Although EM.TV has long been a children’s programming dealer, it has seen its burgeoning sports rights division overtake its onetime core business: sports rights accounted for the lion’s share of sales — $54 million –while kids programming brought in only $4 million.

Company posted a consolidated profit (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) — not including the restructuring bonus — of $3.4 million.

EM.TV said its financial development was in line with expectations, adding that it had slightly increased its earnings forecast for 2004.

The news boosted EM.TV’s share price by more than 10% to $2.87.

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