Constantin’s B.O. misses hit profit

Group posts a 13.6% drop to $27.5 million

BERLIN — A lack of major hits from Constantin Film were partly to blame for profit and revenue slides at Swiss parent Highlight Communications in the first nine months of the year.

The sports rights and entertainment group on Tuesday posted a 13.6% drop in profit to $27.5 million as sales dipped 4.5% to $605.3 million for the period.

Highlight results reached record heights in the first nine months of 2006, fueled by the box office success of Constantin’s “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” and “Hui Buh: The Goofy Ghost.” In contrast, Constantin had few box office successes in the period this year. Its most recent hit, the CG-animated laffer “Lissi,” opened in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Constantin’s distribution biz and film and TV production activities, Highlight also operates a major homevid distrib operation.

Total film- and TV-related revenue dropped 6.2% to $515 million.

Revenue from Highlight’s sports licensing and marketing activities, which are growing in significance at the group, rose 6.1% to $90.2 million. The increase was largely due to the marketing of UEFA Champions League soccer and the UEFA Cup competition, which is handled by Team, Highlight’s Swiss sports rights subsidiary.

Highlight looks set to join German media baron Leo Kirch and Munich-based EM.Sport in forming a major sports rights and production group.

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