Constantin hits propel Highlight earnings

Theatrical success of 'Perfume' lifts parents fortunes

BERLIN — Bustling film business from Constantin Film propelled nine-month sales and profit at Swiss-German parent Highlight Communications.

The theatrical success of Constantin titles such as “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” which as grossed Euros 37.8 million ($50 million) and “Hui Buh, the Castle Ghost” ($13.6 million) helped boost Highlight revenue by more than 30% to CHF 426.6 million ($352.6 million). While net profit slipped 6% to $18 million, company’s operating result was up 5% to $29 million.

Overall, figures “reflected Constantin’s intensive film production and film exploitation,” Highlight said. Indeed, theatrical sales accounted for the lion’s share of revenue as film distribution continues to grow in importance at the company whose core business had traditionally been home entertainment.

Highlight said overall malaise in the DVD sector as well as the company’s decision to forego DVD releases this summer during the World Cup soccer championships dented its home entertainment business.

Nevertheless, DVD releases of “The Dark” and local teen comedy “The Wild Chicks,” both released theatrically by Constantin, have boosted home entertainment revenue.

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