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EM.Sport Media sporting growth

Company gets a Kirch kick

Focusing primarily on sports, EM.Sport Media has continued to see business growth as it preps to sell its family entertainment division and get into the biz of covering big-league soccer with new shareholder Leo Kirch.

Last week, it won regulatory approval for the acquisition of a 25.1% stake in Swiss media group Highlight Communications, which owns Swiss sports rights company Team as well as Germany’s Constantin Film.

EM.Sport swung to a net profit of e2.2 million ($3.2 million) for the first nine months of 2007 from a $4.2 million loss in the same period last year.

On Monday the group posted a separate result for EM.Entertainment, which is on the block and no longer included in its core business. Company, formerly known as EM.TV, split its main divisions last summer, assuming the new moniker along with its new strategic direction.

EM.Entertainment’s net profit fell to $880,000 from $4.5 million last year. Overall revenue climbed 5.4% to $242.3 million.

The Highlight acquisition is the first step in a deal between EM.Sport and Kirch, the German media mogul and Highlight shareholder, who agreed to sell the stake for some $97 million plus an 11.5% stake in EM.Sport.

Kirch has inked a marketing deal with the German Football League that runs from 2009-15, and EM.Sport is likely to play a major role in the coverage of top league Bundesliga soccer beginning in 2009.

For the current year, EM.Sport execs are predicting revenue of $315 million and an operating profit of $22 million-$25 million.

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