Russian company takes $156 million

Central Partnership, one of Russia’s leading independent production, sales and distribution companies, increased its revenue by 46% to $156 million in 2007.

Overall earnings before tax and other deductions were $49 million, up 20% from $41 million in 2006.

Aggressive activity in its core business areas since last year’s reorganization, which split the company into targeted units, pushed it well beyond 2006 results, when revenue reached $107 million.

Television content sales, which in 2006 accounted for 72% of revenue, although down last year remained the key revenue stream, accounting for 61% of revenue in 2007, figures released by the company show.

Theatrical sales, at 26%, were up on the 20% achieved in 2006. Homevideo and other sales made up 13% of revenues in 2007.

Steady growth in its theatrical business — where it combines sales and distribution of its own productions with Hollywood and other international fare — boosted its share of Russia’s profitable exhibition sector.

Riding a wave of box office hits that included Nikolai Lebedev’s fantasy epic “Wolfhound,” which took $20 million domestically, the company moved up to third top grossing distributor, with box office receipts of $85 million, giving it a 15% market share, behind UPI ($96 million, 17% market share) and Caro Premier ($92.5 million, 16%) .

Armen Dishdishian, executive VP international for Central Partnership, said, “We are now the top independent distributor as unlike some others we do not have a Hollywood studio behind us.”

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