'Perfume' lifts revenue at German producer-distributor

BERLIN — Constantin topper Fred Kogel credited blockbuster “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” with helping the company make landmark profits in a strong year of growth for cinema despite fierce competition from the World Cup soccer tournament.

“We’ll be posting a record result for 2006,” Kogel told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He said he expects operating profits (earnings before interest and taxation) to exceed the previous record of E14.8 million ($20.1 million) set in 2004. In 2005, Constantin had operating profits of $13 million on revenue of $254 million.

Even though “Perfume” cost Constantin $60 million to make, it proved to be well worth the investment with a box office take of $50.5 million in Germany alone.

But Constantin also benefited from a strong 8% increase in German box office, which totaled $706 million.

That was a strong improvement after a 19% drop in 2005.

Kogel said he was confident the upturn would carry on into 2007.

“I think an increase of five to 10% is quite possible,” he said. The basis for that optimism, he said, is the fact that new installments of several successful films, such as “Harry Potter,” “Shrek” and “Spider-Man,” are due in 2007.

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