Besson's company moves into the black

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp reported a 120% rise in revenues in the first half of the French financial year, compared with the same period last year.

Ancillary sales were responsible for much of the bump, especially for kidpic “Arthur and the Invisibles.”

The company took in e73.6 million ($108.7 million) for the six months through Sept. 30, compared with $49.5 million a year earlier.

Earnings rose to $1.8 million profit this year from $2.5 million net loss last year.

Founded in 2000 by director-producer-writer Besson and producer-actor Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, EuropaCorp is one of Europe’s largest independent film producers and distributors. EuropaCorp went public on the Paris-based Euronext market in July.

The company attributes its revenue boost chiefly to strong sales for its DVD library and TV broadcast rights.

DVD sales were especially good for theatrical hits “Arthur and the Invisibles,” “Tell No One” and “Taxi 4,” which accounted for nearly 32% of the revenue in the first semester.

TV sales for 17 films represented 20% of first semester revenues.

The company spent $66.5 million in the first half of 2007, in line with original budget forecasts, producing six feature films, compared with just under $73.89 million for all of 2006. These include the as-yet-unnamed sequel to “Arthur and the Invisibles” and “Staten Island,” toplining Ethan Hawke, both due out in 2009.

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