Constantin profits surge

Producer/distributor raises forecast

BERLIN — Germany’s Constantin Film, enjoying a strong run from local pics “The Baader Meinhof Complex” and “The Wave,” raised its earnings outlook for this year after posting a five-fold increase in profits through the first nine months of the year, the European heavyweight producer/distrib reported Wednesday.

Constantin said the global financial crisis had not hurt the company at all so far.

“The company has succeeded in responding positively to this difficult market environment so far, operating stably and very well,” Constantin said in a statement, noting that most of the earnings from “Baader” would fall in the fourth quarter for the Bernd Eichinger produced biopic about the 1970s Red Army Faction terror group, which was released only at the very end of the third quarter in late September.

The Munich-based company said it expects to have revenue of about Euros 250 million ($324 million) this year, an increase of $26 million from its previous forecast, and to post an operating profit of $18.2 million — more than five times its last estimate. Nine-month earnings were $11 million, up from $2.2 million in the same period a year earlier.

Constantin, controlled by Switzerland’s Highlight Communications, said revenue fell 3.8% to $216 million in the first nine months due to the expected reduction in revenues from TV productions.

Theatrical distribution sales in the first three quarters rose to $30 million from $29 million. The local theatrical operation boosted earnings. Helmer Dennis Gansel’s “The Wave,” has earned more than $21 million and Uli Edel’s “Baader” earned more than $23 million.

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